The measure will be applied if the immunization of doctors, nurses and nursing home workers does not rise from the current 60% to 80% before September
Voluntarily or by force. Given the increased circulation of the Delta variant of covid-19 in France, the Government is preparing a bill to force health personnel to be vaccinated, although it discards, for the moment, that same obligation for the general population. “We will not force the French”, clarified this Friday the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, who, however, specified that the Executive does intend to impose it “for the health workers” since the personnel who have been immunized so far is insufficient from the point of view of healthcare security, added the minister during a visit to a clinical center in Altos de Francia.
If between now and September 80% of the health personnel in hospitals and caregivers in nursing homes have not received at least one dose of the serum against covid-19, the application will become mandatory for these professionals. Currently, French doctors and nurses are required to be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B and polio.
According to official data, only 57% of nursing home staff and 64% of those who work in medical establishments have received the antiviral, in whole or in part. This percentage is insufficient for the French Hospital Federation, in favor of compulsory vaccination.
The Government is particularly concerned about the situation in nursing homes for the elderly. “You do not want to run the risk of having waves of coronavirus in residences,” said Véran, who is a doctor by profession. The Health Minister had already threatened doctors and nurses with mandatory vaccination last March, given the reluctance of many of them to give themselves the injection.
When the campaign began in France, doctors and nurses could only receive AstraZeneca, an antiviral that many of them viewed with suspicion since they considered that it offered less protection and had more side effects than other existing brands on the market. Now, healthcare and elderly care staff can use AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech or Janssen depending on their age.
72% of the French are in favor of the vaccine being mandatory for these professionals who work with sick people and on the front line of care, according to a survey by Odoxa-Backbone Consulting. And 58% believe that the antiviral should be imposed on all citizens, which is 20 points more than they thought in November.
The requirement to be vaccinated falls within a delicate terrain between the impairment of fundamental rights of the individual and the protection of public health in cases of health catastrophe, such as a global epidemic. Only Moscow has moved to immunize yes or yes to public service workers. At the end of last year, the United Kingdom, Italy and San Marino were the only countries that considered the obligation if the population did not go to be immunized. Most of the rulers were against it and, curiously, the most vehement was Emmanuel Macron. “I want to be clear: I will not make vaccination mandatory,” the French president said in December.
“Summer can go bad”
The Health Minister warned the population on Friday that the Delta variable, which is increasingly circulating in France, may cause a new wave of the pandemic before September, something that Germany and the World Health Organization agree on (WHO ). “The threat is real and could spoil our holidays and the summer,” said Véran, who recalled that the French can be vaccinated both in the centers destined for this campaign in their town of residence and in their summer resort and even, from from now on, during working hours without affecting your salary.
“Yes, the vaccine can have desirable effects”, is the message of the campaign just launched by the Regional Health Agency (ARS) of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur to invite people, and especially young people, to get vaccinated . With photographs evoking scenes of reunions, passionate kisses, open-air concerts and beach vacations, the slogan references the slogans of many anti-vaccines about the possible adverse effects of the serum. So far 50% of the French have received a first dose and 31.6% are already fully immunized.