The national representation had criticisms and questions. Olivier Véran provided only part of the answers. The Minister of Health was heard on Tuesday by the Social Affairs committees of the National Assembly and the Senate. Among the recurring questions of parliamentarians: why has the government taken such a delay in igniting its vaccination campaign (138,000 immunized on January 11)? “We are not sailing by sight, we have set the target of one million French people vaccinated by the end of January, we will keep it”, he committed again. The government hopes to reach the figure of 400,000 by the weekend. “We cannot vaccinate the entire French population at once”, he added, arguing that “Vaccine delivery follows production” and that France currently has 1.8 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and 50,000 units of Moderna. “We are supplied at the rate of 500,000 doses per week, then it will be a million doses, of the Pfizer vaccine”, he said.
The Minister of Health defended the government’s phased strategy, which favors the elderly and those at risk. “For healthy people under the age of 50, the Haute Autorité de santé does not yet recognize any direct individual benefit and does not invite vaccination to be opened to these groups who do not have priority”, he reminded deputies calling for an acceleration of the campaign. After residents in nursing homes, it will be the turn of the over 75s who live at home to have access to the vaccine. An online appointment booking platform will be open on January 14, which is not without raising the question of the digital divide for this age group. Finally, the Ministry of Health will publish a daily table for free access on its site, containing all vaccinations to date, the regional distribution, the percentage of the population vaccinated by region and the number of doses available to each region.
The minister stung on the McKinsey cabinet
Insufficient to alleviate concerns and calm critics. Arrested after the quack of too short syringes, in particular at the Nice University Hospital, Olivier Véran also called not to make isolated cases “A national problem”, citing stocks of 3.3 million needles and 4.6 million syringes. But it was on the issue of partnerships with the McKinsey firm and the Doctolib medical platform that Olivier Véran was stung. “Why delegate to the private sector what falls under the competence of the State? “ asked FI deputy Adrien Quatennens. Minister’s response: “It makes perfect sense to rely on a private service provider, we have solid companies, we rely on all skills. According to you, we should have built everything in the public sector, starting from scratch, when we have French players like Doctolib? “ As for the McKinsey cabinet, the minister told the Senate that he is providing “Practical and operational advice, not scientific”, “In conjunction with the task force in charge of vaccine logistics”. Advice at 2 million euros per month for the State.