The Gerland Vaccine Arena is exceptionally open this Sunday on Vaccination Day for at-risk children.
In line at Gerland’s vaccination center this morning, the crowd is smaller than usual. This day is for children aged 5 to 11 who have an illness that puts them at risk of contracting a severe form of Covid-19, or for those who live close to an immunocompromised person.
The Vaccine Arena offered 800 places during the day, over 300 of which were reserved for so-called vulnerable children. “We are so happy, we were afraid there would be fewer children, and it wasn’t easy for parents to move on Sunday,” explains Philip Payne, director of the Gerland Vaccination Center. A pre-vaccination consultation had to be carried out by a physician to check the eligibility of the child.
Targeted diseases include, among others, uncorrected congenital heart disease, chronic liver disease, chronic heart and respiratory disease, cancers under treatment, immunodeficiency, obesity, diabetes, and Down syndrome.
“We didn’t know what appetite parents should have to vaccinate these children, and we weren’t expecting as much, and we’ll do other days like this,” adds Philip Payne.
After a rapid diagnostic serological guidance test, children are vaccinated by about a dozen nurses and doctors. Among them, some pediatricians and specialist professionals to adapt to today’s youth audience. “We talk to them about Christmas or gifts or put up videos,” says Stéphanie Thollet, a nursery nurse at HFME. “I work in pediatrics, and we know kids are especially anxious, but it’s a painless gesture. That’s why there’s two of us, there’s one distracting and the other doing the injections, it’s a different way of working,” she adds.
“Vaccine is scary sometimes, just a word… but then, no, it doesn’t hurt and if it’s going to be protected from Covid, it’s worth it,” admits Oron, 10, who has barely left the vaccination box.
Among the audience present this morning, some questions or questions about the risks of the vaccine itself. “The parents who are there are not anxious parents, they have been waiting for this for a long time because they feel that they are exposing their children, they are children who cannot live a normal life if they are not vaccinated,” confirms the director of the center.
We have come to continue trying to defeat this bad virus so that everyone is protected as much as possible. We vaccinate all children against other diseases from birth, and there is no reason why we can’t do that at 5 and 10 years old,” confirms Laetitia, who came with her son on Sunday.
Other such days must be organized before the vaccination is open to all children between 5 and 11 years of age.