The number of vaccinations against the coronavirus is struggling to increase in France. The government seems to have revised its medium-term objectives, which appear less ambitious than in other countries.
While vaccination campaigns against the Covid-19 epidemic have kicked off in several countries around the world, the number of people who have been administered the vaccine in France is slowly increasing. The CovidTracker site, created by the data scientist Guillaume Rozier and who makes it possible to follow the evolution of the epidemic in France and in the world, indicates the figure of 70 people vaccinated on the French territory since December 27, date of the launch of the vaccination campaign in France. According to LCI, the next vaccinations will concern only 23 establishments in Paris, Lyon, Lille and Tours, before intensifying to reach a hundred places after the first two weeks of January.
By comparison, more than 800,000 Britons and more than two million Americans have already received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to data analyst group Our World in Data.
A delay which is assumed by the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, questioned on France 2 on December 29. “In France, we made another choice, which I claim, which is to rely on doctors and health professionals and to vaccinate the elderly in nursing homes, and not to make them travel for example”, specifies the minister before continuing: “It takes a little longer to start up, I assume this delay, it is even claimed.” The Minister welcomed the “decline” taken by France in relation to certain neighboring countries, citing the case of eight people who had accidentally received five doses of vaccine against Covid-19 in Germany. “By the end of January, we will have caught up with this gap vis-à-vis everyone and the objective is the same”, assures the Minister of Health.
A strategic turning point on the part of the government?
The change in strategy was already assumed on December 28 on Europe 1 by the Chairman of the Steering Committee for the anti-Covid-19 vaccine strategy Alain Fischer, who felt that it was not necessary to “rush” to vaccinate the most of people possible.
For the “mister vaccine” of the government, the slowness of the French vaccine strategy “gives time to do things well in terms of safety, effectiveness, organization and ethics with consent”. And the doctor to remind that France is the only country to request written consent before the injection. “It’s the right way to do it,” he concluded.
A vaccination schedule was established by the government on December 26. This provides for one million injections among people aged over 75 and health professionals over 65 and / or at risk of developing severe forms of the disease. In the first two weeks of January, vaccination will intensify to reach a hundred establishments for the elderly, then become “massive” from mid-January, according to the entourage of Olivier Véran quoted by AFP.
Everyone over 65 will then need to be vaccinated until spring, before the rest of the population aged 16 and over has access to the vaccine. The government has set itself the goal of “15 million vaccinations by this summer,” said Matignon.
A deadline slightly later than what he had announced. The strategic turning point has taken place in recent weeks. On December 15, the President of the Scientific Council, Jean-Claude Delfraissy, seemed more ambitious in the columns of the Parisian by asking the French for a few more efforts “until the end of April, or even May, to immunize the 22 million most at risk”.
Finally, by mid-January, France should have received more than 1.8 million doses of the vaccine, enough to be able to launch the first phase of the government vaccination plan.