VACCINATION – “This is going to be a hostage-taking”. Two months after the ultimatum set by Emmanuel Macron, the vaccine obligation against Covid-19 for nursing staff in hospitals and nursing homes and several other professions (liberal caregivers, home helpers, firefighters, ambulance drivers) comes into force in France this Wednesday, September 15. A measure which concerns 2.7 million people, but which faces opposition from a minority.
To continue exercising, all health professionals are required to receive at least one injection of the coronavirus vaccine before Wednesday, September 15. As of October 15, each caregiver will have to justify a complete vaccination schedule of two doses.
An obligation that some concerned have decided not to undergo: they have made the choice to stop their career or to completely change jobs in order to avoid being vaccinated.
End 34 years of career and retire
“After 34 years of career, I definitively close my practice this Tuesday evening at 8 pm”, learns at the HuffPost Béatrice *, 66 years old, liberal obstetrician gynecologist in Pas-de-Calais. She, who has been practicing since 1987, originally intended to leave herself a few more years of activity, “four or five years”, but the compulsory vaccination made her revise her plans at the last minute. She is thus resigned to retire, much reluctantly.
“A few weeks ago, I received a very official paper from the ARS evoking the law of August 5 and telling me that I would have to stop working if I did not get vaccinated. This under penalty of criminal penalties. It is specified that there will be checks, that the Order of Physicians will be alerted as well as social security ”, she explains, regretting a lack of information on the concrete sanctions applied in the event of non-vaccination. of a caregiver.
“I do not want to be removed from the Order of Physicians, but I do not want to be vaccinated even less. So I decided to end my career, ”says the 60-year-old.
As explained to France 3 Regions Benoît Elleboode, Director General of ARS Nouvelle-Aquitaine, if a caregiver does not fulfill his vaccination duty, he will be declared incapable of practicing. He will then be suspended as well as his remuneration, unless days of leave are used to delay the deadline. Then, the ARS will seize the order of the doctors, but also justice with the public prosecutor, as well as the CPAM. Supporter of “zero tolerance”, he plans to “start very quickly” “surprise checks” in establishments and among the liberals.
Regarding social security, the system, which is being created, provides that the prescriptions of the offending doctor are no longer reimbursable. Thus, faced with the finding of non-vaccination and depending on the situation, the caregiver risks the simple fine of 135 euros to six months in prison.
“I am enraged against the government!”, Fulminates Beatrice, believing that it is the latter who “mismanaged the crisis at the beginning when it was necessary to prevent the circulation of the virus and it is us who suffer from it”. The gynecologist explains that she does not understand such an obligation as she works alone in her office and does antigenic tests every 72 hours to ensure that she is not infected.
Aware of having the chance to be already close to retirement and to have been able to save money by being a liberal doctor, Béatrice thus plans to ”(s) ‘take care of (s) es cats and enjoy of retirement … unless there is a change thanks to the protests in the country ”. If the obligation is finally lifted, she could eventually reopen her practice, which is located at her home.
From firefighter to music composer, in six months
But the situation is not so “simple” for all those who are resistant to compulsory vaccination. Grégory *, a firefighter in Seine-et-Marne for 25 years, has just asked for a six-month availability in order to try to find a new job. “I am well paid, I love my job, but I have to give up on it because I do not want to be vaccinated, he testifies to the HuffPost. I’m 42 years old and I have to find another job in six months ”.
And beyond this deadline? Things will get tough: Grégory will be in financial difficulty. “These six months are the most I can hold financially. If I haven’t retrained by then, then I should go back to my job as a firefighter and get vaccinated. But for me it will be like a hostage-taking ”, warns the forty-something who has the impression of having to choose between his health and his lifestyle.
“I live it very badly, I absolutely do not want that one forces me to inject myself that”, explains the firefighter who came to wish to be infected by the virus in order to make only one dose.
If Grégory manages to retrain, he intends to make a living from his passion, music. He is indeed a composer and works from his studio which he has set up at home or in Paris. “I would like to make a living from it, it would prevent me from having to make a choice that I don’t want to make”, he confides to us.
″ At the end of the month I will no longer be a doctor ”
Jean *, in his thirties who came from Spain to work in France, prefers to cut off his bridges as quickly as possible with his profession, without looking back. This liberal doctor from Bouches-du-Rhône will become, at the end of the month, a self-employed person. He already had this project before the crisis, but expected to leave himself several months to pass the course and turn this page of his life. With the deadline of September 15, the 30-something has decided to speed things up.
″ At the end of the month I will no longer be a doctor. For the next two weeks, I will no longer be exercising, but this will give me time to do all the paperwork necessary for my departure, ”he explains. He had only practiced for five years, however, since his arrival in France.
“I am not angry, he assures us, this vaccination obligation only confirmed my desire to change jobs”. However, a deep disgust pierces his voice at the evocation of the management of the crisis by the government: “this country is becoming really authoritarian, he believes. Today if we do not think like the government, if we do not want to be vaccinated, then we are discriminated against, ostracized ”.
This is also one of the reasons that pushed him to leave France to return to Spain at the end of the month. “I prefer to return to my country, even if the situation is not very far from that which we have in France, here I saturate, I do not find myself there any more”, confides to us Jean.
89.3% of first-time caregivers vaccinated on September 12
Remember that the results of studies of vaccine candidates show that vaccination can significantly reduce severe forms and mortality due to the virus. Coupled with barrier measures, the vaccine helps to control the impact of the epidemic over the long term.
How many are in the case of Beatrice, Jean or Grégory? Thousands no doubt, even if the estimates vary from simple to tenfold depending on the source. According to Public Health France (SpF), which is based on samples from Health Insurance, as of September 12, 89.3% of caregivers had received at least one dose in structures welcoming dependent elderly people (Ehpad, USLD ).
“There will perhaps be 1% to 2% of suspensions”, nevertheless estimates Florence Arnaiz-Maumé, general secretary of Synerpa, which represents private nursing homes. Reported to the “300,000 to 350,000 employees” in the sector, “we can expect around 3,000 suspended work contracts in the coming days,” she predicts.
* Names have been changed
See also on The HuffPost: Covid-19: for Pope Francis, getting vaccinated is “an act of love”