Stricken for several days because of a trickle-down start to its vaccination campaign, the government has promised to pass the second, in particular by allowing without delay all health professionals over 50 years of age or at risk to receive the famous injection in hospitals, and no longer only for residents and staff of nursing homes.
On Tuesday, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran also promised to step up the pace by opening the vaccination before the end of January, in dedicated centers in town, to all people over 75 years old who do not live in retirement homes. .
Will this be enough? “We are opening 100 centers intended for the city”, then “we will open 300 next week and 500 the following week”, assured the government spokesman, Gabriel Attal, after the first Council of Ministers of the year.
“We were not very good, we (are not) going to say the opposite”, but “the main thing is to get in working order to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible”, commented on BFMTV by Professor Eric Caumes, head of the infectious diseases department at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital.
7000 injections were performed
“The government seems to be changing course, but it still got stuck at the start,” added the president of Medef, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux on franceinfo. For his part, the President of the Senate, Gérard Larcher (LR), criticized France 2 for “the lack of preparation” of the executive and “a completely failing logistics”, denouncing once again that local communities are “left behind. side”.
In fact, if France has one million doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine on Wednesday, only a little more than 7,000 injections have been carried out, while the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Spain have more or less widely exceeded 100,000.
But quickly, it is the question of available doses that will arise. With a million residents and health personnel concerned in nursing homes, some 5 million people over 75 years of age, and with two injections per person, will the expected doses be sufficient for the time being?
To the 500,000 weekly doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, 200,000 doses should be added “the first month”, then “500,000 per month” of the vaccine from the American Moderna, which was validated on Wednesday by the European Medicines Agency (EMA ) and the European Commission, and which is now awaiting the green light from the Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS) in France, explained Gabriel Attal.
A controversy also arose after the revelations that a mission entrusted by the government to the private consulting firm McKinsey and Company to support it in its vaccination strategy.
In this context of permanent controversy, the government must also find the right cursor of health restrictions to stop the restart of the epidemic after the holidays. Some of its neighbors have chosen to go through the confinement box, including schools, (England, Scotland) or to extend the closure measures (Germany).
Closed since October 30, restaurants and bars have seen their hopes of reopening on January 20 dashed. The time is also long for cultural places such as cinemas, theaters and museums, which could neither reopen on December 15, and will not be able to do so on January 7, when these dates had been envisaged.
Regarding culture, Gabriel Attal mentioned “a reopening schedule that could be gradual”, without specifying which actors were concerned.
As for the advanced curfew at 6:00 p.m. in 15 departments, it is “a map that can evolve in either direction,” he said.
As of Tuesday evening, 20,489 new cases of Covid-19 had been recorded in the past 24 hours, now far from the government target of going down to 5,000 cases per day.
346 deaths of coronavirus patients were recorded at the hospital on Tuesday, bringing the total of deaths since the start of the epidemic to 66,282.
“We are on the crest line where we can switch for the good or the bad side”, estimates Eric Caumes, for whom “to put the package on the vaccination is good, but to test, trace, isolate, it is not necessary not forget it “.