France fears summer vaccination plateau due to anti-vax sentiment –

France fears summer vaccination plateau due to anti-vax sentiment – fr

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                Tous les adultes en France seront éligibles au vaccin Covid-19 à partir de lundi.  Mais les médecins préviennent que les efforts de vaccination du pays pourraient ralentir considérablement d'ici cet été après que tous ceux qui souhaitent se faire vacciner l'aient fait – ne laissant que les sceptiques face aux vaccins et les personnes ayant un accès limité aux soins de santé.  L'Académie française de médecine fait maintenant pression pour la vaccination obligatoire – mais le gouvernement français est jusqu'à présent resté inébranlable dans son refus.

                                    <p>À partir du 31 mai, tout résident français de 18 ans ou plus pourra bénéficier du vaccin Covid-19, une nouvelle étape essentielle pour mettre fin à la pandémie.  Mais ce nouveau seuil présente également de nouveaux défis pour les responsables de la santé: s'assurer que les gens parviennent à réserver les deux rendez-vous pour les vaccins dans les délais recommandés et s'assurer que personne n'est laissé pour compte - mais aussi convaincre ceux qui restent hésitants face à la vaccination.

French authorities are nevertheless confident now that the country’s once slow vaccination campaign has reached cruising speed. And although an additional 20 million people will become eligible this week, vaccination centers promise a logistical boost, with more doses delivered daily and the Moderna vaccine becoming available for use in pharmacies and by GPs in their practices. .

“Everything is done to vaccinate and vaccinate quickly. We are keeping our commitments, ”said Minister of Health Olivier Véran. BFMTV in interview on May 17th.

More than 25 million people have received at least one dose in France as of May 28, or 47% of the adult population. But doctors are increasingly warning that the vaccination effort could plateau in the coming weeks.

“When we have finished vaccinating all those who have come forward voluntarily, we will have to reach out to others,” said Vincent Maréchal, professor of virology at Paris-Sorbonne University, in an interview with FRANCE 24 at the end of April. “We will need to seek out all those who have been overlooked by the health care system and those who are generally reluctant to get vaccinated. “

Such a slowdown has already been observed in the United States. As of mid-April, nearly 50% of the American population aged 18 to 64 had received at least one jab. But since then, the pace of vaccinations has slowed down considerably. After hitting a record 3.38 million doses per day at the end of March, the number of people receiving a first (or just one) dose of the vaccine is down by about 50% from April 13, according to the New York Times .

The UK and Israel have experienced a similar slowdown in vaccinations after initially successful nationwide campaigns.

‘Reduced mobility’

“We know that some groups are not fully immunized when they should be. Some 25 percent of those over 80 have not even received a single dose, despite being in the priority group, ”said Alain Fisher, chairman of the Immunization Strategy Policy Board, in an interview. to L’Express magazine.

“These people often have limited mobility, so they are unlikely to go to a vaccination center or even to their doctor. It has now become essential for health workers to visit them. But it takes time, ”Fisher added.

Vaccination efforts among the elderly also appear to be showing signs of shortness of breath. According to the Ministry of Health, there has been no increase in vaccinations among those aged 70 and over, with vaccination rates remaining at 82.2% among those aged 70-74 and at 79% among those over 75. .

Experts are also worried about those who may be in socio-economic distress. “Most of them won’t make the effort to get vaccinated on their own, just because they don’t care about it all,” Marshal said. “And that’s when local authorities can play a role. “

The French government has already attempted to tackle the problem through telephone and SMS campaigns. In the Seine-Saint-Denis region, officially the poorest in France, the authorities have set up vaccination hot spots in certain neighborhoods where people can be vaccinated without an appointment. Advertising campaigns have also been launched in public spaces to raise awareness.

“Anti-vaccines” in the country of Pasteur

But the biggest challenge could still be vaccine skepticism. An OpinionWay poll showed that 20% of French people over 18 refuse to be vaccinated while 13% say they are undecided. According to figures from the French Public Health Agency, the situation could even be worse: 44% of people questioned say they do not get vaccinated.

Although Louis Pasteur’s homeland has often been somewhat hesitant about vaccines, confidence in the Covid-19 jabs has increased since January. But “anti-vaccines” could nevertheless prevent France from achieving collective immunity. According to the French Academy of Medicine, the country must vaccinate 90% of its adults, or 80% of the entire population, to overcome the Covid-19 crisis.

In a statement released on May 25, the Academy recommended making vaccination mandatory – first for essential workers such as health workers or teachers, then for those whose professions bring them into contact with the public and, and finally, to the students.

>> Why are the French so skeptical about vaccines?

For the moment, the French government has refused this recommendation and remains hopeful. “Our conviction is that, since the start of this crisis, the most effective is to rely on confidence and conviction,” French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday before adding that “no door is closed “.

But the arrival of the Covid-19 health pass could also encourage more people to get vaccinated after it goes into effect on June 9, forcing those who attend large public events to prove they are vaccinated. Airlines are also increasingly likely to require “vaccine passports” in the future.

Some have pushed governments to offer more incentives to encourage people to get vaccinated, such as giving gifts or other perks. To meet President Joe Biden’s goal of 70% of adults receiving at least one injection by U.S. Independence Day on July 4, some U.S. states have introduced lotteries or scholarships for them. vaccinated people, with millions of dollars at stake. Others, like New Jersey, offered free beer. And several sports leagues have promised free tickets to games if you can prove you’re vaccinated.

This story has been translated from the original in French.

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