Covid-19: the unfortunate controversies of the piston for vaccination

Some elected officials and notables are accused of benefiting from “fast-track” to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Marginal privileges that go badly at the time of dose shortages.

This is a controversy that embarrasses the American hospital in Paris, based in Neuilly. According to a survey by France Info, eminent members of the board of directors were able to benefit from the first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from the beginning of January … when some hospital caregivers are still waiting for their vaccination.

The vaccination campaign for people over 75 and vulnerable people has been open since January 18; but that of caregivers and hospital staff over 50 began at the beginning of the month. It is for this reason, it seems, that the vaccination was proposed to the members of the “Board of Governor’s”, the board of directors of the establishment composed, among others, of forty top leaders of companies, diplomats, lawyers – including the millionaire Arnaud Lagardère or the wife of Bruno Bouygues, 45 years old. “I was called to get vaccinated at the American Hospital Occupational Medicine on January 14th. All governors have been invited to do so ”, confirmed Bruno Durieux, former Minister of Health and member of the board of directors, to France Info.

Skip-the-line for senior members of the administration

Nothing illegal, of course. The American hospital confirmed at Figaro that the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine were offered to “all volunteers and eligible working in the hospital (doctors, caregivers, administrators, governors, cleaning, security and catering providers, volunteer volunteers) according to the criteria of the Ministry of Health and in accordance with the directives of the health authorities.

But at a time of the shortage of vaccine doses, some hospital staff observe that most of the members of the very respectable Board of Governor’s do not intervene directly within the hospital, and even less with patients at risk. Can they therefore really be considered as hospital staff? According to France Info, the proposal would have also concerned generous donors to the hospital and their families, when the hospital is entirely funded by fundraising.

While delays in the delivery of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have forced several regions to postpone their vaccination campaigns, how many injections have been discreetly negotiated on the fringes of official campaigns? From January 6, the president of the New Aquitaine region, Alain Rousset, had been under fire from critics for having been vaccinated in preview alongside his colleague Alain Anziani, president of Bordeaux metropolis, on behalf of “Exemplarity”. “A lamentable pass for elected officials!” lamented the LREM deputy of Gironde Berengère Couillard.

Controversy at Paris City Hall

The mayor of Paris was in turn accused of having offered certain “privileges” to its officials for an early vaccination, according to the CGT union of the hospital-Dieu, where are welcomed city doctors candidates for the vaccination. “The mobilized teams are daily obliged to refuse caregivers and vulnerable elderly people in favor of staff from the City of Paris and other non-priority VIPs”, says the union in a statement.

According to the AP-HP, it would in fact be a partnership for civil servants working in the medico-social sector and suffering from comorbidity. “We checked each name, each of the agents who had benefited from a vaccination at Hôtel-Dieu. We confirm that there has been no privilege ”, declared Antoine Guillou, deputy in charge of human resources. However, some officials would have succeeded in obtaining an injection, according to Bruno Limaille, from the CGT union of the Hôtel-Dieu: “Colleagues told us that there was a request to receive all the staff of the town hall. For example, a lady had made an appointment, which had been accepted. She came and was able to get vaccinated by presenting herself as administrative secretary at the town hall of Paris ”, he reports to Parisian .

The art of negotiation

At each vaccination center, its small, more or less unofficial arrangements. “If you only knew the number of people who come to us for injections. For those who have contacts in the administration, the privileges are common “, says a liberal nurse in two vaccination centers in the suburbs of Rouen, who prefers to remain anonymous. “I saw a few maneuvers at the CHU that shocked me a bit. A surgeon has managed to have his family vaccinated internally by asking that they be taken care of as a priority ”, he says. There is also an unofficial waiting list for the remaining doses at the end of the day: “In this case, it is the relatives who are called. 35-year-olds, caregivers of course, but non-priority, were able to be vaccinated, supports the nurse. It does not concern thousands of people. But couldn’t we make a priority waiting list for vulnerable people? ”

SEE ALSO – Vaccination of elected officials: “The exemplarity is to wait your turn”, estimated Olivier Véran on January 12


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