The government relies on nurses to prescribe and administer the vaccine to people who cannot travel.
In addition to the deployment of mobile teams, the government is relying on home vaccination to inject their doses to priority groups who cannot travel. If doctors and pharmacists are empowered to do so, it is especially nurses (who already administer the influenza vaccine at home) who should fulfill this mission. “Close to their core business”, specifies the Ministry of Health.
By authorizing them on March 26 to prescribe and administer vaccines against Covid, the High Authority for Health has given them the means to fully contribute to this effort as of this week. Until then, nurses had the obligation to vaccinate in the presence of a doctor. “This will make it possible to vaccinate the French, and in particular the most fragile, at their homes”, said Olivier Véran. “The short-term objective is to boost home vaccination”, adds a counselor of the Elysee.
It’s about targeting “Peripheral France, rural France, France of those excluded from digital technology and France of isolated populations”, details Patrick Chamboredon, president of the National Order of Nurses. He adds the 6 million French people who do not have an attending physician and find themselves outside the vaccination circuit. This represents a total of 10 million people, according to the Order. “These are often patients we know and see regularly, comments Patrick Chamboredon. Beyond the gesture, our role will be to reassure them, but also to overcome the hesitations of those who still wonder about the merits of vaccination. ”
Of the 700,000 professionals in France, 130,000 liberal nurses are concerned. They now benefit from their own vaccine allocation, in the same way as doctors and pharmacists. AstraZeneca doses “First and other vaccines second”, specifies an adviser of the Elysee. They will have to recover them like the doctors in pharmacies. Last week, almost all of the 250,000 doses of AstraZeneca allocated to nurses were ordered, according to the Directorate General of Health. They are about 24,000 to have expressed themselves on the portal set up by the State, the volumes being limited to one vial of 10 doses per nurse.
One of the main challenges will be logistical: when an AstraZeneca vial is opened, it must be used within six hours. However, nurses, who see 20 to 50 patients per day, sometimes travel up to 100 kilometers. “It will be a tour organization”, explains Patrick Chamboredon. In the offices, a nurse may be dedicated only to the Covid vaccination. “To avoid waste, careful management of the available doses will be required,adds the president of the Order. If an appointment is canceled, the nurse may offer the time slot to someone else. It has this flexibility due to its mobility and its proximity to patients. ”
The stake will also consist in informing the patients concerned or their caregivers of the possibility of being vaccinated at home. Initially, the appointment should mainly be made on the initiative of the health professional. Home help providers will also be a relay for patients or their families. In addition, platforms such as Libheros or Medicalib will promote networking between patients and nurses depending on their area. “Medicalib will be able to help the nurse to organize his round by aggregating ten patients in a given sector,explains its co-founder, Nicolas Baudelot. In rural areas, you can expect the time to get an appointment to be maybe a little longer, the time to find ten patients. “
Ultimately, home vaccination could also be a way to speed up the movement. “When the target audience is enlarged, we can imagine that a nurse comes to vaccinate several people from the same family, considers Nicolas Baudelot. This will save time. ”