”What we are living through is historic. What we are experiencing today is the fruit of miracles on top of small miracles,”: remarks Dominique Pilon, making reference to the mass vaccination against COVID-19.
Pilon, the person responsible for the operation in Monteregie-West, hosted the Soleil de Châteauguay at the vaccination clinic set up at the Chateauguay 55-plus Centre on Wednesday, March 31. To guide the mission to a satisfactory conclusion, he had to formulate a concept, find facilities, organize the distribution of furniture, as well as recruit and train people from outside as well as internally, he illustrates.
Guillaume Quesnel-Mercier is part of the CISSSMO employees who changed jobs for the needs of the mission. Holder of a Masters degree in administration, he was a manager. He is now team leader. “We had to develop people like me to lend a helping hand. We don’t want to strip our hospitals and our CHSLDs,” he indicates.
The layout of the clinic was conceived to facilitate life for the patients and the staff alike, the team leader let it be known. The hall includes three aisles, each with seven chairs. The patients sit in one place and do not have to get up throughout the process. “That’s the advantage compared to other vaccination clinics where one had to take several different places,“ Quesnel-Mercier explained.
Several people deplored being unable to obtaining an appointment in Chateauguay at the beginning of the campaign, as all the scheduled places were said to be full. Pilon explains that “large central sites “were already set up in Candiac, Valleyfield and Vaudreuil, where it is possible to administer 2,000 doses a day. Smaller sites were then opened. The capacity of the one in Chateauguay is about 240 doses per day. The small centres mobilize more resources, Pilon stressed.
CISSSMO is searching for manpower to give vaccinations but there is actually no shortage in this department, Pilon assured. “We can’t talk about a shortage of personnel at this time. We have reached more than 650 hirings that have come aboard since January, exclusively for vaccinations. Thus, we have had a good response and we are continuing to do so. But it’s true that we need them. We estimate between 1,000 and 1,200 people to be able to vaccinate up to 6,000-7,000 doses a day.”
Anne-Marie Duval is part of those who responded to the government’s call to lend a hand. “I am a retired physiotherapist trained to vaccinate. I had the desire to participate in this great adventure and to come help. I retired not too long ago. I told myself I am going to help in this manner,” she expressed, after vaccinating Yvon Poirier of Mercier with the Moderna vaccine.
What does that represent for Poirier? “A lot, because it will save my life. Our government is good to us and to those who are working here. These are people who are capable of helping us. It’s very big,” he remarked.
Also from Mercier, Claire Lamoureux and Jacques Leduc were vaccinated against COVID-19 with Pfizer on Saturday, March 27 at the Ormstown Recreation Centre.
“I am very satisfied. This is a deliverance. It’s an entrance to a social movement, if one prefers. The hope of meeting our friends, our children,” Lamoureux expressed.
“I am very happy. This represents security,” Leduc appreciated.
(Translation Dan Rosenburg)