Why has the State not opened more vaccination centers in the department?

A person is vaccinated with Covid-19 (illustration) – UGO AMEZ / SIPA

  • The department of Hérault had proposed to the State to open the gymnasiums of the colleges and the whole of the fire stations to create centers of vaccination.
  • The State has not seized (or very little) this opportunity.
  • However, the services of the Regional Health Agency ensure that a balanced network of the territory has been set up throughout Occitania.

The state services in Occitania did not seize the outstretched hand of the Hérault department. On January 7, Kléber Mesquida (PS), the president of the community, proposed to transform the 48 middle school gymnasiums into vaccination centers. of Covid-19. “There are parking lots, it’s accessible, there are additional premises”, stressed the elected official.

It also made available to the vaccination campaign all of the department’s 70 fire stations. Scattered all over the Hérault, they gave, indicated Kléber Mesquida, the assurance of having perfect coverage of the territory: “Because it is not possible for a million inhabitants to go to Montpellier or Béziers. to get vaccinated, ”he confided.

Fine coverage of the territory, ensures the ARS

But the state services did not seize this opportunity. Or very little. Of the 24 vaccination centers opened in Hérault on Monday, there is no college gymnasium, and only three firefighter rescue centers: those of Saint-Pons-de-Thomières, Vaihauquès and Olonzac. In addition, for this last commune, the prefecture indicated, on January 13, that it was only a “punctual” opening. The other vaccination centers in the department have been opened in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, municipal wards or set up in squares.

Why did the state not respond to the department’s call? Asked about this, Pierre Ricordeau, director general of the Regional Health Agency (ARS) of Occitanie, ensures that a fine coverage of the territory has been set up everywhere in Occitanie. Taking into account the “spatial distribution of the population”. Twenty-four centers in the Hérault is sufficient for the ARS. With regard to the living areas, but also… the doses.

The issue of dose delivery

“In each of the departments, the prefects conducted a consultation with professional players, local authorities and elected officials, to have the most balanced network between the constraint imposed on us by the particular conditions of storage and transport of Pfizer doses , the fact that we have a limited number of doses for the moment, and the concern for proximity, ”says Pierre Ricordeau.

On average, there is thus in the Occitanie region one vaccination center for 50,000 inhabitants. “Which is higher than the national standard that had been proposed [un centre pour 100.000 habitants] », Continues Pierre Ricordeau. And all are already well saturated, it is almost mission impossible to get an appointment for the highly prized bite.

The network of the territory could change, depending on the receipt of vaccine doses. At the end of last week, Occitanie had received 130,000. Deliveries, in the order of 50,000, are expected to take place every week. They will be sent to vaccination centers, without discrimination between rural and urban areas.

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