The highly contagious Delta variant continues to spread in France and raises fears of a fourth wave this summer. The executive nevertheless ensures that it does not want to make vaccination compulsory for the entire population. The fact remains that collective immunity is still far from being reached.
While the compulsory vaccination of caregivers could be decided shortly, the next step in the vaccination campaign is already on the table: the vaccination obligation for all French people from the age of 12. This “constitutes the only realistic option” in the face of the pandemic, wrote the national academies of pharmacy and medicine on Friday. However, the executive has repeatedly ruled out this possibility.
“We will not force the French to be vaccinated, vaccination does not have to be compulsory in the general population”, however assured the Minister of Health Olivier Véran last week.
“Immunization coverage of nearly 90%, we are very far from it”
40.4% of the French population has been vaccinated, according to the latest report on Saturday evening, and 53% received at least one injection. However, to establish collective immunity against more contagious variants, such as the Delta which is progressing strongly in France, “we need a vaccination coverage of nearly 90%, and we are very far from it”, explained Saturday on BFMTV Jean-François Corty , general practitioner, coordinator of a vaccination center in Paris.
In this sense, today, “not to be vaccinated is not only a choice for oneself it is also to make the choice not to achieve this collective immunity”, explains on our antenna Anne Sénéquier, doctor and co-director of the IRIS global health observatory.
Because the vaccine is for the moment the only known method at our disposal which is effective against Covid-19, but also its variants, and today “it is the only thing which, at the national level, will really allow us to act as a barrier to this virus “, underlines Anne Sénéquier. “I hear, we are in a free country we do what we want, but the problem is that it is the vaccination which will bring us back the possibility of doing what we want”, adds T -it.
“It will take a law”
While the Delta variant is spreading a little more each day on the territory and a fourth wave starting this summer is feared, “we must move up a gear, we will not wait for the month of August or the month of September, the fourth wave is already here. We must therefore very quickly vaccinate as many French people as possible “, declares on our antenna François Chast, honorary president of the National Academy of Pharmacy.
“To lead this public health battle, [la vaccination] is our only ally. We won’t be able to do it without these injections, ” JDD Bernard Kouchner, former Minister of Health. For him “to refuse it is a betrayal. It will take a law” to make it compulsory.
As a reminder, in France, 11 vaccines are already compulsory, and some are also compulsory for certain professions, in particular caregivers. “In terms of infectious disease, we have never done as well as vaccination, and each time we have extensively vaccinated, we have come to the end of epidemics,” recalls François Chast. “We must put an end to this disease, the only solution is vaccination”.
“The vaccines are free, the tests are free,” recalls Patrick Pelloux, president of the association of emergency physicians in France. “Questioning vaccination is really an incredible and irresponsible claim. We must stop this epidemic.” He also recalls that in the face of infectious diseases, vaccines “saved humanity”.
Strongly encourage vaccination
While waiting for a potential vaccination obligation, which may not happen, Jean-François Corty calls for strengthening access to the vaccine for all by developing “more local operational devices as close as possible to areas where access to care is difficult, make the vaccination of the second dose possible even where the second dose has not been given, increase the number of walk-in centers … “
Before going through the obligation for everyone, it is also possible to gradually extend it to various more risky professions, such as “firefighters or other professions”, explains on BFMTV Robert Cohen, infectious disease specialist at the intercommunal hospital of Créteil (Val-de-Marne). Compulsory vaccination for all “will be made” for Bernard Kouchner, but “with nuances at the beginning, perhaps, according to the professions”.
For Patrick Pelloux, the vaccination incentive, and therefore the obligation will also arrive through other means: “you will not be able to take the plane if you are not vaccinated, the airlines will not bring up people who do not are not vaccinated “in the future, perhaps for fear of no longer being followed by their insurance.
In his press release Friday, the Academies of Pharmacy and Medicine also underlined the importance of setting up “a national communication campaign promoting a targeted pedagogy of shared responsibility, avoiding any stigmatization, within the framework of a democratic commitment”.
A necessary international immunity
The two institutions also insist on the need for “vaccine solidarity” at the international level, ie to share vaccines with countries which would not have had access to them.
Because “there are entire sections of humanity which today are not vaccinated, this favors the fact that there will always be the emergence of new variants”, explains Anne Sénéquier. We must therefore think at the national level, and international at the same time, because “if we vaccinate 100% of the French, we can be sure that in a few months we will have to be revaccinated because there will be a variant that will challenge our collective immunity through new capacities “.
According to an Elabe poll this week for BFMTV, 61% of respondents are in favor of compulsory vaccination for all, and 72% say they are in favor of the idea of compulsory immunization for caregivers.