It is noon. For Alicia, it’s usually the shot. Since several weeks, the operator spends his days under an arbor erected in front of a pharmacy in the city center of Metz. “Here, antigenic tests, results in fifteen minutes”, can we read at the entrance. “People often come to be tested during their lunch break, she says. Usually by this time I’ve done fifty tests. “ But this Friday, October 15, the first day of the end of the free PCR and antigenic tests for the unvaccinated, time seems longer to him. “I have only done eighteen tests since taking up my post. Normally Friday is the busiest day. “
For unvaccinated adult patients, an antigen test now costs 25 euros when performed in a pharmacy, 22 euros in a laboratory. Only those who have a prescription or who have been identified as contact cases can benefit from free care. Mathieu, 38, has just paid 44 euros for a PCR test he needs for a professional trip. He does not hide his anger: “I understand that the tests are paying because all this is very expensive for Medicare. But while we make everyone pay, including the vaccinated people! “ He refuses to hear about the vaccine from Pfizer or that of Moderna and will not change his habits: “I hardly ever got tested, he said. Since the introduction of the health pass, I boycott establishments that require it. And I live very well as well. “
Tristan, 32, is more worried. He also does not want to be vaccinated. The young man, who says he works in real estate, invokes “The lack of hindsight”, “Lab money” and some “fake news” circulating on the Internet. But he did not give up living. For two months, his weeks have been punctuated by two visits to the pharmacy: “I come every Tuesday to be able to go to the gym and then every Friday to go out on weekends. “ The aperitif with friends has just cost him 25 euros, even before ordering the first drink. He does his calculation: “It’s 50 euros per week, 200 euros per month. I obviously can’t afford it. “ Direction to the vaccination center? ” No way ! I won’t let go now he slices. I will go out less, I will save money. “
” It’s expensive “
In her tent, Alicia smiles, referring to these “regulars” who come to see her twice a week: “They are always the same, she says. I don’t even have to ask them for their dates of birth anymore, I know them by heart. ” She is adamant: “They will not be vaccinated”. And if they are less numerous, this Friday, it is because many had anticipated the end of the free service. “Thursday, we carried out twice as many tests as usual”, confirms the secretary of one of the largest analysis laboratories in Metz.
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