Friday, December 04, 2009

in which Fry gets a shot

Yesterday I took Fry to Tiny Town's salle des fêtes to be vaccinated against H1N1, aka la Grippe A or the swine flu. In France, the vaccinations are being given in "vaccination centers" around the country and are being staffed (and by some accounts, understaffed) by local doctors, nurses and army medical personnel. While anyone has the right to be vaccinated, those that meet certain requirements have been sent a voucher to ensure they will be vaccinated in priority. Someone I know on an forum in Switzerland had her daughter vaccinated yesterday as well, but she said that it was with typical Swiss precision that she had an appointment and even a parking voucher ahead of time, so it took no time at all. My experience, even out here in the French boonies, was... not the same.

Our vaccination center was open from 12pm until 4pm, so we got there around 2:30, hoping to beat the crowds of kids on their lunch break. There were probably a good twenty people ahead of me, but we didn't wait long; five minutes after arriving, we were approached by a volunteer and asked to move to the front of the line (children under two are considered a priority). I have to admit I felt a little guilty, but not guilty enough to say no! On checking in, I was told that I could have one as well, but I declined (Stéphane and I had already decided to skip the vaccination). The next station was for filling out paperwork (name, address, parental consent, general medical questions, etc.). After that, we sat down with a doctor, which just happened to be Dr H, our regular doctor. Dr H marked Fry for a half dose (typical for babies under 18 months) and he'll have the other half in three weeks. Then we waited for a vaccination bay to open up (I think there were three families ahead of us).

Fry was great with his shot as always, just a quick ten second cry and it was over (irrationally proud, me??). I was a bit annoyed that we had to wait twenty minutes before we could leave, as we certainly don't have to wait in the doctor's office after a regular vaccination and I felt like this was a total CYA move, but whatever, we only had to wait ten and it was over. All in all, it took us an hour from sitting down at the entry to walking out the door. Thank goodness we were able to skip the line! Fry didn't have any reaction to the shot at all, didn't even have a small fever. Now whether or not it's actually is worth all the trouble will remain to be seen!


ira said...

Oh vivi this sound like a nightmare! Everything here in switzerland, well except the injection bit have been a pleasant experience! got a proper appointmet with the exact time, went there being guide to the right place and waiting for the turn for ten minutes, voila all done! No line skip or something like that!:)) I'm glad yours personally not so bad but those others, poor them:)

Ravenhill said...

What a dreadful pain to have to do this! Sorry that you have to go through it again! I hope they will have better routines next time! Maybe they will with practice!

Happy weekend to you!
~Emily xo

Unknown said...

Here the boys got theirs in schooltime, not a clue whether it was a well oiled machine...the boys did'nt complain so I guess it went fairly smoothly :-D

Vivi said...

Inger, they did the same for children in collège and lycée (middle and high school) but children in elementary school were kind of left out! They only had two hours yesterday (between 12 and 2pm) and then next Friday evening, I think. Kind of a mess really!

Ronica said...

Sounds like things were fairly well organized--as well as they are here. They had traffic directors, but I still waited about 5 minutes for a parking spot. Then we waited outside in the cold but only for 20 minutes or so (glad we had hats and mittens), and we did have a slot (ours were labeled by the hour, 4-5 PM, we showed at 4:05). We somehow got to the front of one of the lines inside, too, but don't know how, because people around us were pretty jealous. Maybe because Rowan's only 2 1/2? They were supposed to make us wait 20 minutes after, but since they were swamped, she let us go because it was getting crowded. Must be standard procedure to wait after for a reaction. She also had no reaction whatsoever, and neither did I when I got mine (weeks before due to the pregnancy.)

Honestly, it was easier than a normal doc appt. for us, which usually requires waiting in a room for 30 minutes after waiting in the waiting room for 20, so it didn't seem a big deal to me, but I'm not used to "Swiss precision" either. :) An hour of my time really is worth her health, IMO. And I always come prepared with stickers, colors, paper, snacks, etc. ;-)

After having to wait six and a half hours for our first paycheck in France in a place with no magazines or even a TV to zone out at, I've come to tolerate an hour pretty easily, and to always come prepared.

BTW, Rowan was good for shots at his age, too. Ahem. Just sayin'. Hope it doesn't change for you, but she really developed a fear somewhere between 18 mo. and 2 years. Doc said it was developmental. :( I was very glad she was able to have the mist this time. Wish there were mists for more vaccinations!

SSP said...

a good portion of why I am NOT getting the shot is the bureaucracy surrounding the whole ordeal...I am glad the experience wasn't too horrible, amazing swiss comparisons aside :-)

glad the fry wasn't too traumatized!