There was a bit of excitement in the air this Monday morning at the Vaccinodrome in Toulouse. After taking the metro and walking for a few minutes, around twenty students from Toulouse-Lautrec college waited to receive their first injection of the Covid-19 vaccine. “The place and the way it works have impressed them a little, and then they miss a morning of lessons”, notes with humor Rémi Ferrières, the history and geography teacher who supervises them.
They are among the first volunteers from colleges and high schools in the Pink City to have responded to the appeal of the rectorate, decided to intensify the vaccination of 12-17 year olds. This Monday, 190 of them made the trip to the old hall 8 of the Parc des Expositions, which has seen its activity drop in recent days. A pace that should be maintained throughout the week, the target being 4,000 students for this first campaign.
67% of 12-17 year olds had their first injection
If, in Haute-Garonne, 67% of 12-17 year olds have already received their first dose, the authorities are trying to rally reluctant families or families far from vaccination centers, “to have greater coverage throughout the year” , pleads the rector of the Toulouse academy, Mostafa Fourar.
Rector @MostafaFourar was this morning at the vaccinodrome in @Toulouse : 200 middle and high school students @HauteGaronne are vaccinated today and nearly 4,000 are registered in this department to receive the #vaccine in the coming days@PrefetOccitanie @ARS_OC @CHUdeToulouse pic.twitter.com/vtHu7266Nt
– Toulouse Academy (@actoulouse) September 13, 2021
This week, only middle and high schools coming under the Colomiers and Toulouse vaccinodromes are concerned. From September 20, it will be the turn of those from other centers. “For the other establishments, an ephemeral team will be deployed in the establishments from September 27 and, for the more distant, on September 30”, details the prefect of Haute-Garonne, Etienne Guyot.
Overcome the fear of families
“At first I was afraid of the side effects, I didn’t want to do it too much. And then when the college suggested it, I said to myself “why not!”. This will allow me to have access to more things and not to have the Covid-19 or to transmit it ”, explains Evan, in 5th grade. After doing a serological test to make sure he hadn’t caught the virus before, he answered a few questions. Then came the time for the famous injection. “I prefer to watch”, he assures valiantly to the young woman who takes charge of him.
It comes out of the box without problem, with only a feeling of cold in the arm. And will be patient next to his comrades. In another row, Abdelkader waits until all of his comrades have been vaccinated before returning to college. This teenager was motivated by “the possibility of traveling again”. He therefore “made the choice” to come this morning, just like Amin, one of his friends. “I will need it to take transport, but also soon for sport,” he says.
All are motivated. But that remains a handful of students, if we reduce to the size of the establishment located in the owner’s education zone, which has nearly 750 college students. “We hope that the vaccination of the first pupils via this campaign will have mobilizing effects. We are going to try to convince the families, but it is not easy because many of them are afraid after reading things on social networks ”, deplores their principal, Alain Moyat.
A few chairs away, a teenager comes to his senses after having had a little fright. At his side, Maxence Machet reassures him. This surgical intern comes two to three times a month to the vaccinodrome to take care of people who come to receive their dose, or 620,000 people since last April. “It is important that the youngest get vaccinated. Until now, we had more students than 12-17 year olds. They have understood the issues well, more than some adults, ”he concludes.