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Vaccination surges of 21 %

Vaccination surges of 21 %

MARTIN LAFRENIÈRE
Le Nouvelliste

Trois-Rivières – The latest flu vaccination campaign run by the regional CIUSSS has borne fruit. As of December 24, 2019, the various vaccination clinics had welcomed 20.8% more citizens than on the same date in 2018.

Vaccination clinic activities began on November 1. As of December 24, 2019, 45,221 people had received a seasonal flu vaccine at these clinics. The figure for the same period in 2018 was 37,430.

The statistics observed in November and December 2019 are welcomed by the management of the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de la Mauricie et du Centre-du-Québec, as Information Officer Julie Michaud explains.

“It’s a very good increase. We’re delighted with the results. And if we’re talking about target audiences, the most vulnerable people, the vaccination coverage rate is 18%, or 19,351 people, of all these audiences. The ministerial target was 13%,” says Ms. Michaud, referring in particular to people with chronic illnesses.
CIUSSS management believes that the campaign to promote seasonal flu vaccination explains this significant increase in the number of people vaccinated. The fact that people could book appointments via the website or by phone was apparently appreciated.

“This allowed people to be taken care of right away when they arrived at the vaccination site. The decision to offer vaccination by appointment is a good idea. People are happy. We’ve had positive feedback. Some users said there was less waiting, others said they could make an appointment for more than one person,” adds Ms. Michaud.

This is the second year that CIUSSS has made appointments available by telephone and online. Last year, CIUSSS combined this offer with the walk-in service. Walk-in vaccination was discontinued this year. Given the number of online registrations, the formula seems to be gaining in popularity.

“By internet, 34,371 time slots were booked. By telephone, we had 17,960 calls. That makes a total of 52,331 appointments, whereas we have 45,221 people vaccinated. So some people cancelled their appointments. It’s possible that people called to get information and not necessarily to make an appointment, or called to cancel an appointment, because people were already registered via the internet,” gives Ms Michaud as examples, pointing out that 9142 time slots had been booked via the internet in 2018.

Vaccination by appointment will be maintained for the next vaccination campaign.

Although the recent campaign ended at the end of December, it is still possible to receive the seasonal flu vaccine. People in the at-risk category can receive it free of charge by making an appointment at a CLSC. People with certain chronic illnesses such as diabetes, people aged 75 and over and women in their second or third trimester of pregnancy are all part of this clientele, as are the people who live with them and healthcare workers.

Anyone else wishing to be vaccinated should contact their family doctor or a CLSC.