“My parents left me the choice”: with middle and high school students for a day-marathon vaccination against Covid-19

The multipurpose room of the Jacques-Brel high school in Vénissieux (Rhône) was, this Thursday, September 9, filled with younger students than usual. Within the small assembly supported by the doctors, firefighters and nurses of the Metropolitan Departmental Fire and Rescue Service (SDMIS) managed by the metropolis of Lyon, questions arise, simple, direct: “Will the vaccine hurt me?” “, asks Kelly, 13 (all the names of the minors have been changed). “Will I necessarily have side effects?” “, 14-year-old Iris asks. “Am I going to get my life back? “, dares Charlène, 12 years old.

Since 9 am, college students from surrounding establishments in the priority Minguettes-Clochettes district, in the municipalities of Vénissieux and Saint-Fons (Rhône), have followed one another in this ephemeral vaccination center. Between these cohorts of pre-teens will be inserted, throughout the day and following time slots set upstream (in order to avoid “mixing”, as recommended by the national education in these times of health crisis), high school students , those who volunteer at Jacques-Brel but also those from neighboring high schools, and even a few apprentices or students, or even staff. “We do not refuse anyone”, insists Damien Coursodon, the principal.

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This day-marathon orchestrated, one week to the day after the start of the school year, by the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes academic region, is aimed at the entire school population of age to be vaccinated (12 years and over), the regional health agency and municipal and prefectural authorities. An operation calibrated for a thousand young people from eight different establishments (five colleges, three high schools), but for which some 220 teenagers only volunteered – around thirty per establishment, on average, calculated Damien Coursodon. He succeeded, in his high school of a thousand students, in “Motivate” forty. ” A good start “, he said.

“We don’t really have a choice”

The figures he puts forward join the first reports made by principals throughout France: while the Ministry of Education has undertaken, in this second school year under the sign of Covid-19, to offer vaccination in ( or near) each of its 6,000 to 7,000 secondary schools, the volunteer students do not jostle each other. Or not yet: in a good number of academies, apart from a few publicized operations, the campaign is only just beginning. The Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, left them until All Saints’ Day to ” get organized “.

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