At the monkeypox vaccination center, between caution and anger: “The pandemic is exploding”

“We have a smooth-talking minister, but all is not so well in reality,” castigates this 60-year-old man, “happy” to be vaccinated before going on vacation.

On Monday, the Minister of Health François Braun announced the destocking of more than 42,000 doses of vaccine and claimed to have “largely the number of doses sufficient for the population which is mainly at risk”.

That is “men who have sex with men reporting multiple sexual partners, trans people reporting multiple sexual partners, sex workers” and “professionals working in places of sexual consumption”, since the expansion of the vaccination on July 11. More than 6,000 people have already received this preventive vaccination, the minister said.

In the Edison municipal health center, located near the Place d’Italie (XIIIth arrondissement), only homosexuals or bisexuals, sometimes doubly eligible as caregivers, came to be administered an initial dose on Tuesday afternoon, a month before the booster dose.

To welcome them, three administrative agents, two doctors and a nurse. “Only City staff”, underlines Pierre-Adrien Hingray, deputy director of the supply and care pathways at the Paris town hall, who criticizes the government for not moving fast enough in the face of the current outbreak of smallpox. of the monkey.

Mr. Hingray hopes for rapid reinforcements of staff and doses to reach a cruising speed of 1,000 weekly vaccinations at Edison.

“Reminders of Judgment”

“Bravo! We lasted three months before the opening of a center”, launches, sarcastically, Jean-Yves Douineau, “a little annoyed” because “tired of calling everywhere for a week”.

This resident of Kremlin-Bicêtre (Val-de-Marne) thinks he has just recovered from smallpox, after having suffered rashes and is not angry with the lack of responsiveness of the health authorities.

“The pandemic is exploding and that doesn’t surprise me,” the 51-year-old says, linking it to the HIV epidemic in the early 1990s.

Including in the eyes of loved ones. “It’s not mean, I have a very open family, but I feel a hint of judgment, with the same things I heard in 1990: + yes, but if you protect yourself … +”.

To protect himself, Karim comes for that. This 44-year-old bisexual who usually frequents “cruising spots or gay bars” says he has “not had sex for a while because of smallpox”.

Since a Covid-19 contamination at the end of 2021, Karim has not completely recovered the taste. So he vaccinates for “fear of unsightly consequences, pain”, but also by that of transmitting this other virus to his parents or his partners, “including female”.

Towards the latter also plays the “fear of stigma: we, the bis, have been accused of transmitting HIV to women. I prefer to take the lead and avoid the risks.”

Under thirty, carefree?

Arnaud, he points to a generational difference with “under 30 who care little about this kind of thing”.

It is true that, in the waiting room, the majority of patients are over 40 years old.

Among the youngest, Alexis, 19, has not changed his sex life since the identification at the end of May of the first cases in France. But “I’ve been worried about it since I saw on the internet what it looked like,” said this business school student.

Ten or fifteen minutes of waiting, as much to ensure that the patient is doing well after the injection: the nurse, Laura Cohen, welcomes a “fluid organization”.

People are “more informed, less stressed and more grateful than for the Covid, the atmosphere is more peaceful and soothing”, estimates this temporary worker.

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