Vaccination of children under 12 against Covid-19: « I wanted and didn’t want at the same time »


In the boxes, isolated by a white plastic partition, we talk about Lion King, superheroes, we hear « You are very brave », and it laughs a lot. The vaccination of all children aged 5 to 11 against Covid-19, which began at midday on Wednesday, December 22, is going rather well.

Of course, in the middle of the festive season, this basement of the Vill’Up shopping mall, at the Porte de La Villette, a few meters from the City of Science and Industry, in the 19e arrondissement of Paris, is not very warm. All the stalls are closed and even the escalator, which goes down to – 1, is at a standstill. « I would have liked to install toys for the children, but it’s not very Covid », regrets Rubinaz Hakik, the deputy director for the vaccination pole of the French Red Cross.

Read also Vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 against Covid-19 now open to all in France

The result is austere, with fifteen boxes in two rows, one of which is reserved for children. This center, run by the Red Cross and funded by the Ile-de-France regional health agency (ARS), with the contribution of health professionals from both the public and private sectors, opened on December 11. and, since the 20th, for children. Two and a half days for vulnerable children, with increased risk factors, then without distinction after the announcement made, on the morning of December 22, by Olivier Véran, the Minister of Health and Solidarity, of the expansion of the vaccination campaign for all children from 5 to 11 years old. « He spoke around 10 am and, an hour later, we had fifty children in front of the center », says Chanez El Sharkawi, replacement doctor at the Public Assistance-Hospitals of Paris.

An average age between 9 and 10 years

Thursday, Porte de La Villette, the flow is incessant, especially as many adults are also coming to be bitten. The day before, of the 594 vaccinated at the center, the children were 119, most of them in the afternoon after the minister’s announcement. Thursday at the end of the day, the center counted 503 vaccinated, including 156 children. And in the 5-11 age group, it is rather the oldest who make the trip, the average age being between 9 and 10 years.

The bonnet pulled up to the eyes, the young Rachel Allizon is relieved. The vaccine is done. “I wanted and didn’t want at the same time. Want not to be sick, and not want because of the bite « , tells the young girl of « 8 years in four days ». For his father, an epidemiologist who works at the CNRS, it was obvious. Still, her daughter had to agree, because, in this case as with all the families she met, there was no question of forcing her.

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