COVID-19 Vaccine for Healthcare Professionals in Lyon

Months of waiting to receive the vaccine, in just a few seconds. In Lyon, France, health professionals, who are over 50 years old, have been authorized to be vaccinated in one of the 4 centers, arranged for it, just a week ago.

“I do it for myself and for my patients, my family and my friends. But after getting vaccinated I will have to continue wearing a mask because I can carry the virus,” says Véronique Boissonet, an allergist at a medical center in Lyon.

Many of those who have received the drug expect younger workers to follow in their footsteps shortly.

“We still have colleagues who are highly exposed to the virus in intensive care units, they are less than 50 years old but they must stay healthy,” adds Véronique Boissonet.

In theory, health professionals over 50 should not be vaccinated until the end of January. Before, those who live in nursing homes and staff who work there had to be vaccinated. But, given the criticism that the vaccination campaign was too slow, the French Government accelerated the process. Despite accumulating delay, with respect to other countries.

“Caregivers call us to ask questions like, am I allergic to these products, is it safe for me? I had coronavirus, when should I get vaccinated? We take adequate time to respond,” says Claudine Pasquet-Wolckmann, Occupational Physician at Croix Hospital -Rousse de Lyon.

Doses of the virus vaccine are stored in the hospital pharmacy and delivered to meet daily needs.

“We have many patients to get vaccinated and we are going to run out of drugs so I’m going to call the pharmacy.” The pandemic remains uncontrolled in France and vaccination has been opened to private doctors.

“In Lyon, a specific vaccination center has been created. It allows staff working in patients’ homes, pharmacists and other private doctors to get vaccinated,” says Guillaume Petit, a journalist for Euronews in Lyon.

Many pharmacists have been on the front lines of the battle since the beginning of the pandemic. By getting vaccinated, they hope to convince those who are more reluctant and who you meet on a daily basis.

“Some say that we are being manipulated, others go even further, assuring that everything is false. I tell them: go ahead! Well, I tell them: go when you can!”, Says Claire Neel, a pharmacist who works in Lyon.

The reluctance also finds a following among a minority of caregivers, who are skeptical about a vaccine developed in record time.

“The debate on the speed of development of the vaccine may end. All the studies have been done correctly, with thousands of patients for Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna. What was sped up was only the administrative and bureaucratic process. I think it is reassuring, at the moment. Obviously, we don’t know what will happen in 5 years with people who have been vaccinated but it is the same for any new medicine, “says Christian Chidiac, head of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Croix-Rousse Hospital.

So far, no adverse effects have been observed, as reported by the French National Medical Agency.