New system to allow French people to receive the Covid Jab earlier

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People living in France will soon be able to register to receive a Covid vaccine outside of the standard deployment schedule, as part of plans to avoid wasted doses, the Minister of Health announced.
Health Minister Olivier Véran said on January 5 that people will be able to register online to be notified if there are doses available for end-of-day use that otherwise would not be used.

He did not reveal details or exact dates, but told RTL France radio station: “There will be registration possible for people living in France who wish to do so, via the internet, probably by telephone. [too], and why not by the TousAntiCovid application, [so that] anyone wishing to be vaccinated can let us know, register and make an appointment. ”

The health ministry said: “This means that certain vaccines could be used, in some cases, to vaccinate people who are not part of the target population. [according to the rollout timetable]. »

Read more: Easy-to-consult guide to the deployment of the Covid-19 vaccination in France

The system has not yet been opened, but the minister said it would happen “in the next few days”.

If implemented in France, the country would follow a system similar to that used in Israel – which managed to vaccinate 1.5 million people in just a few weeks.

There, “non-priority” people can sign up for a WhatsApp notification system, which lets them know if there are any vaccines available at the end of the day. They are contacted directly by message, and they can then request an appointment and be vaccinated “early” if they wish.

The suggestion of a similar system in France comes in light of a recommendation from the Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS) of the Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS) that “no dose should be lost”.

It is feared that “25 to 30% of the doses of the Covid-19 Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine will be wasted”, according to the Ministry of Health, due to “logistical constraints”.

This is because the Pfizer vaccine requires careful care and should be stored at -70 ° C before use. Once a vial is opened it must be used within a few hours, otherwise the vaccine will no longer be effective. As with food, it can no longer be “refrozen”.

And, in its official instructions, Pfizer also said that each vial only contains five doses of vaccine – to allow for wastage between doses – but technically each vial contains enough liquid for six or seven doses.

When added to the constraints on who is eligible to receive the vaccine under the current deployment schedule, these logistical challenges mean that some doses of the vaccine are wasted.

As Dr Pierre Alemmano, from the Pôle Santé Saint-Jean in Cagnes-sur-Mer, Alpes-Maritimes, told newspaper nice morning last week: “The math is simple. They deliver vials containing 2.2 ml of vaccine to us, with an obligation to give only five doses per vial.

“Knowing that a dose is equal to 0.3 ml, after having vaccinated five people, there is 0.7 ml left that is thrown away, even if that would allow us to vaccinate two more people.”

Medical experts admitted to nice morning that one more person could be vaccinated by bottle, but repeated use of the same bottle means that there is inevitable waste, so getting two more vaccinations from the bottle “would be more difficult”.

Read more: Covid jab: “Two doses per bottle wasted”, says a French doctor

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended that the official instructions be updated to suggest six injections per vial, rather than the current five. While this could lead to more expensive bottles in the long run – as Pfizer could raise prices to make up for the shortfall – it could also lead to 20% less waste per bottle.

In the AP-HP hospitals in Paris, the group uses the vaccine doses that remain at the end of the day’s appointments to vaccinate and the health workers who want it, even if they are not part of a priority group. According to the newspaper The Parisian, workers now have access to an online platform to register for the system.

Currently in France, only elderly people in retirement homes and health personnel over 50 are technically eligible for vaccination.

Yet the government also said that to increase the number of people vaccinated, it was set to open 500 to 600 mobile vaccination centers by the end of the month.

He also said he would look to increase the time between the two required vaccinations – despite manufacturers’ recommendations – in order to get more people vaccinated with the first dose faster.

The new announcements come after France has received growing criticism for the “slowness” of its deployment, as Health Minister and government spokesman Gabriel Attal said the strategy was intentional and that France would soon catch up with neighboring countries such as Germany and the UNITED KINGDOM.

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