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US News Vaccination against Covid-19: firefighters in reinforcement in a call center in the North

09:05  17 january  2021
09:05  17 january  2021 Source:   europe1.fr

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Lundi, la campagne de vaccination contre le Covid-19 va s'élargir aux personnes de plus de 75 ans et aux personnes présentant des pathologies à haut risque. Il est toutefois déjà possible de prendre rendez-vous pour se faire vacciner. Mais les centres d'appels sont surchargés… au point de demander l'aide des pompiers. Reportage à Villeneuve d'Ascq, dans le Nord de la France. © Martin BUREAU / AFP On Monday, the vaccination campaign against Covid-19 will be extended to people over 75 years old and people with high risk pathologies. However, it is already possible to make an appointment to be vaccinated. But the call centers are overloaded… to the point of asking for help from the fire department. Report from Villeneuve d'Ascq, in the North of France.

From Monday, vaccination against Covid-19 will open to people over 75 years of age and people with high-risk pathologies. Since Thursday, however, it is possible to make an appointment in advance to be vaccinated. Problem: the telephone platforms set up by the regional health agencies are overloaded. Firefighters are therefore forced to get their hands dirty. This is the case at the Villeneuve d'Ascq call processing center, in the Lille metropolis.

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More complex without internet

The telephone keeps ringing in this call center. In search of niches, around twenty firefighters, professionals and volunteers as well as administrative agents, all have their eyes riveted on their computer screens and on the Doctolib medical appointment site. At the same time, Manuel makes an appointment for a retired couple, who do not have internet access, which makes it difficult to make an appointment.

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The man on the phone asks for two vaccinations "one for my wife and one for myself", he said. "It will certainly be the Le Bois center", a private hospital located in Lille, Manuel replied. "We are far away. We are in Villeneuve d'Ascq", complains this pensioner, aged 82. "Sir, we are sorry, but in Villeneuve d'Ascq, there is more time," explains Manuel.

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,600 calls in almost three hours

Unsuccessful of his request, the retiree then deplores difficult communication. "Since a while ago, I called this number and when I dial 2, I can't hear anything at all and I'm cut off", he laments. The number of calls is, in fact, so high that the telephone lines are saturated. In just three hours, this center in Villeneuve d'Ascq received around 600 calls.

>> READ ALSO - Covid-19: saturated lines, lack of places ... The obstacle course to get vaccinated

After a waiting period, Manuel finally has good news. "Your appointment for the first injection is scheduled for Monday, January 25 at 9.50 am," he says to the retiree, who ends up accepting this proposal. It is not always easy to find an available date. "As soon as we can confirm an appointment, we are happy," says Manuel. In some vaccination centers, the slots for the months of January and February are already well filled. So few are those who manage to get an appointment.

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