Romain tried everything, the phone and the internet, but he couldn’t make an appointment for a smallpox vaccination. “I had no response via phone numbers or emails, he explains in front of the vaccination center of the Hôtel-Dieu, a Parisian hospital. I decided to go physically to try to find a solution.”
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Faced with the rise in cases of monkey pox, France announced the extension of vaccination from the beginning of July, in vaccination centers referenced online. Nevertheless, health authorities are facing a growing number of critics reporting difficulties in getting an appointment. The Directorate General of Health thus recognizes delays for vaccination, but ensures that there are enough doses to cope. In France, the epidemic is progressing: 912 cases are now confirmed, which represents an increase of nearly 200 cases in five days, according to figures published by Public Health France on Wednesday July 13.
The majority of cases are recorded in Ile-de-France. And it’s the crowds in this vaccination center: “They told me to come backnotes Roman. Maybe at 12:30 p.m. we will know if it is possible to get vaccinated or not.. He is therefore patient with about twenty other men in the waiting room. Among them, Henrique. He managed to book a slot as soon as he knew he could get vaccinated: “I am gay and I have several partners regularly, so we will avoid taking unnecessary risks and protect ourselves. Five people around me are affected, four very lightly and the fifth is suffering quite a bit. He has a lot of temperature and he has very badly placed pimples which required a urinary catheter for a week. So it was very painful.”
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Henrique assures us: at the moment, monkeypox is the major topic of conversation in the homosexual community. This is confirmed by Mériadec, his neighbor in the waiting room. “For people who are multi-partners, he acknowledges, we hear more and more that it spreads a lot. Take care of yourself and others.” To meet demand, more than 7,500 doses were taken out of national stocks and sent to 70 vaccination centers, like here at the Hôtel-Dieu. “We are not limited by the doses, assures Frédéric Batut, immunologist and head of the center. We started vaccinating on Monday and we are around 60 people vaccinated per day.”
“Initially, we only had slots in the morning. We are in the process of extending them. There is a necessary set-up. We have seen it for other epidemics such as Covid-19. “Frédéric Batut, immunologist
“We ask for doses and we have our vaccines, so we vaccinate”, assures the doctor
Besides, Romain did well to wait. “No clinical symptoms, no fever, no lymph nodes, pimples or rash?”, the immunologist asks him before allowing him to be vaccinated. For Romain, this represents above all the possibility of spending a peaceful summer, provided that you do not forget the second dose scheduled in a month.
Monkey pox: strong demand for vaccination in the gay community – report by Boris Hallier
A dedicated number has been activated: Monkeypox Info Service (0801 90 80 69) accessible 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and 7 days a week to inform the public about the epidemic and vaccination.