Vaccination against Covid 19 in France follows at the rate of a snail compared to its neighbors. It has forced the government to review its strategy to be able to vaccinate its 14 million French at risk as quickly as possible. As of this Monday, 138,350 people have been inoculated until January 11.
Countries that started later have already caught up with France, which expects to reach 400,000 inoculations by the weekend. In nursing homes only 30,000 people have received the vaccine.
“Our strategy has not changed, the calendar has accelerated,” Health Minister Olivier Veran told the National Assembly. Their goal is one million vaccinated in February, with the help of Moderna, the second vaccine to arrive in France after Pfizer-BioNtech.
Far below the 2.68 million people that the British have already vaccinated. His project is to vaccinate 27 million French people before the start of the European summer.
Doctors have already dubbed it a “state scandal.” After the lack of chinstraps, the absence of vaccines and the non-authorization of super refrigerators on time. In Great Britain it rains the vaccinating volunteers: retired doctors and nurses, pharmacists, chemists. In France it is the state that controls and, finally, they have summoned the military for logistics. Hiring the private sector to give citizens shifts to vaccinate raises waves.
A resident of a nursing home in Villeneuve, France, receives the Covid-19 vaccine. Photo: REUTERS
Few vaccines and outsourced shifts
But at least there was a breakthrough, when the reality is that there are not enough vaccines for everyone. Online medical appointment booking platforms Doctolib, Maiia and Keldoc indicated that they had been selected by the State for the “general public” phase of the vaccination campaign against Covid-19.
These platforms will be Official partners of the State to arrange online appointments and manage vaccination centers, equipped by state authorities. A key role one week after the opening, on January 18, of the vaccination “for all people over 75 years of age”, with an appointment promised by the government starting Thursday, through the information site santepubliquefrance.fr.
Doctolib states that “priority patients can already make an appointment” and states that there are already “150 vaccination centers”, equipped with its software, “throughout France”. Its competitor Maiia, a subsidiary of the Cegedim medical informatics group, assures that registrations will be possible “as of this Wednesday, January 13” for a vaccination from Monday 18, for “patients over 75 years old”, as well as “Firefighters and home helpers over 50 ”.
The Keldoc platform, a subsidiary of the National Hospital Mutual Fund, also confirms that it has been “referenced” by the Ministry of Health and adds that it is already used in “various vaccination centers.”
The role of the private
Health Minister Véran defended on Tuesday the designation of private platforms to make “solid” and “French” medical appointments online for the vaccination of the general public.
“Should we have built everything in the public sector from scratch, even though we have French players?” Asked the minister, arguing that Doctolib was widely used in Germany “in terms of vaccination.”
Health workers demonstrate this Tuesday in Paris to demand better working conditions to deal with coronavirus cases. Photo: AFP
“We have very solid French companies, which are doing very well, which are capable of providing all the services. That would be ‘dirty because it’s private,’ “he added during his hearing at the National Assembly’s social policy committee.
“This is not at all, at all, my vision of France, of the entrepreneurial spirit, of our ability to rely on all abilities,” he insisted.
A new quarantine?
An advanced curfew? A third lockdown? The status quo? While the recovery from the epidemic in early 2021 was accompanied by the emergence of a worrying British variant, the executive branch faces a difficult dilemma. How to contain as much as possible the progression of Covid-19, without suddenly stopping the country?
“My obsession is that our country comes out of the crisis. And that the day we manage to contain this virus, we will be stronger to be able to relaunch even more vigorously all the engines of the economy, “said President Emmanuel Macron this Tuesday at noon, on the sidelines of a trip to the site of ‘ArianeGroupe, in Vernon .
A sign recalls the prohibition to go out after 6 pm for curfew, on a street in the center of Nice, France. Photo: REUTERS
To achieve this, the Head of State acknowledged – with “great humility” – that he was working “both in anticipation, (but also) in management.” “We hold meetings several times a week. We make decisions. They are important ”, he recalled, highlighting that these arbitrations were” intended to be clarified every Thursday “, during the now traditional press conference of Jean Castex and Olivier Véran.
The head of government and the Minister of Health must also carry out new ads during this next weekly gathering, which will take place two weeks after the New Year, where they fear that the virus has been reactivated.
“I handle the crisis every day. In the morning, at noon, at night. It’s my obsession, ”Macron finally pointed out. A way to respond to the very strong criticism that has been leveled at him since the failed launch of the vaccine campaign in France.
Prime Minister Jean Castex will speak on Thursday to decide whether the entire country submits to a curfew at 6pm. At least 28 cases of Covid with the English variant have been confirmed in France, a mutation detected in the kingdom in November last year. It is currently in 8 regions of France but nobody rules out that there are more.