August 3, 2021

the first injections down sharply

Is the threat of a glass ceiling materializing? While just over 32 million French people have received at least one dose of vaccine – nearly 20 million are fully vaccinated – the slowdown in the number of first injections worries the authorities. From 480,000 on average per day on May 21, it dropped to just 240,000 on June 21. “We vaccinate 200,000 people per day” in primo-injection, ” it’s not enough. We did a lot better, we have to do a lot better ”, observed Prime Minister Jean Castex, Thursday, June 24, during a trip to the Landes where the Delta variant causes a first epidemic rebound.

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Mr. Castex could only state that “Appointments for the first vaccination are slowing down”, heralding a gently sloping summer. Doctolib now has fewer than 150,000 daily registrations for a first dose, against more than 250,000 at the start of June. And if the bar is not raised quickly, the total number of daily injections – nearly 575,000 per day on average – could very quickly decline.

Six months after the start of the vaccination campaign, just over 20% of those over 80 are still not vaccinated, nearly 870,000 people. This is also the case for just over 10% of people in their seventies (or 645,000 people) and nearly a quarter of those in their sixties (or just under 1.9 million people). In total, nearly 3.4 million people vulnerable by their age could find themselves “exposed” in the event of an epidemic resumption. With a major risk: that this unvaccinated population, the most likely to be hospitalized or to reside in nursing homes, meet the population of unvaccinated caregivers, likely to contaminate them.

New challenge

According to the Directorate General of Health (DGS), only 55% of caregivers in nursing homes and long-term care units have received at least one dose, and 42% are fully vaccinated on June 15. “This proportion is higher than that traditionally observed for seasonal influenza but remains however insufficient”, notes the DGS, specifying that the Ministry of Health “Relaunched communication, incentive and promotion actions for vaccination in these establishments”.

“It is imperative that nursing home staff are all vaccinated by the end of August. We must do more at all costs ”, Mr. Castex launched. A “Solemn appeal” with a threat: if the “Vaccination coverage of caregivers” does not progress, “I could be brought to propose a compulsory vaccination (…) probably in September ”, said the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran on Wednesday.

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