Most students in western Montreal will not be eligible for the government’s famous “school trip” vaccination that frustrates young people and worries stakeholders.
“I don’t have time to get vaccinated outside of school,” sighs 16-year-old Abigail Fabrice, who works in the restaurant business when she’s not home.
This Monday, a vaccination campaign for schoolchildren will begin across Quebec. For many, this event will take the form of group visits to vaccination centers.
For others, vaccinations will be located near the school so that young people do not have to move. Each CIUSSS and CISSS must agree with the schools.
However, the CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Ile-de-Montréal decided not to apply these formulas on its territory to ordinary students, preferring the “family” formula.
Lack of staff
The reason for this choice? “There is a shortage of staff and a very large area to be covered,” explains Marie-Florent Demostin, Public Health Coordinator at CIUSSS.
Rather, the centers have established time slots to accommodate students and their parents in the afternoons and evenings. In some places, there will be musicians and dogs specializing in pet therapy.
Only certain young people with special needs or certain schools in more vulnerable areas can be vaccinated at school or possibly have access to transportation.
As such, most students between the ages of 12 and 17 in Dorval, Lashin, La Salle and the West Island will have to travel to the center on their own.
“It’s a bit like saying to parents,“ do it right, ”says Melanie Hubert, president of the West Montreal Teachers Union.
“We find it a little cave-like,” says 17-year-old Zachary Couture, who was waiting to see what he would do with the school. “To know, I would have signed up earlier.”
“What are incomplete families going to do?” – worried about Hala Jawlah, board president of the Cavelier de la Salle school in Montreal, located in a disadvantaged and multicultural area.
Mme Demosthenes, however, is confident that he can reach the teenagers, no matter what. “We shouldn’t underestimate our parents,” she recalls.
As of Thursday, about 8,000 young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have already received their assignments, of the 24,000 to be reached on the West Island. “And it wasn’t the school that brought them.”
For its part, the Marguerite Bourgeois Schools Service Center presented the CIUSSS de l’West de l’Ile de Montreal to persuade him to act in the same way as elsewhere: in vain, points out the manager, Annie Bourassa.
As for the Ministry of Health, he recalls that the opportunity to get vaccinated through the school network should exist for all young people. “It is imperative to have a hybrid formula,” says Marjorie Kote-Boileau from Minister Dubé’s office in an email.