according to Aurélien Rousseau, “it will take a little tenacity” to establish the habit of vaccination

2023-10-20 16:27:59

The minister is teasing. “Be careful, it’s going to hurt”says Aurélien Rousseau to a handful of 5 year old studentse, shortly before they were vaccinated against papillomaviruses, Friday October 20 at the Jean-Renoir college-high school in Bondy (Seine-Saint-Denis). Among them, Kahina enjoys rotating the wheeled chair where she is sitting – unless it is stress? “I have a good command of English after that”, she confides without seeming to worry too much. The vaccinator asks her to roll up her left sleeve. ” NOW ? », the patient is surprised. In the next room, a pick-me-up awaits him: it’s a compote.

The vaccination campaign for 5th grade studentse against papillomaviruses (or HPV), announced by Emmanuel Macron in February, began on October 2. Papillomaviruses, which are transmitted sexually, cause more than 6,000 new cancers per year in France, including nearly 3,000 cervical cancers causing more than 1,000 deaths, 1,500 cancers of the ENT sphere and 1,500 from the anus. According to several studies, the vaccine is more effective if administered early in life.

In terms of vaccination coverage in France, “we go from afar”, admitted the Minister of Health in Bondy. According to Public Health France data as of December 31, 2022, 47.8% of girls born in 2007 – and therefore aged around fifteen years – had received one dose out of the two planned. Among boys, this rate was only 12.8%. However, France’s ten-year plan against cancer has set the objective, for 2030, of vaccination coverage of 80% of the population against HPV.

Heterogeneity according to regions

Aurélien Rousseau is not committing to a quantified objective for this first college campaign, which will end in the spring with the injection of the second dose. In September, a practical sheet from the Ministry of Health mentioned the ambition to vaccinate 30% of eligible students. “We will see the figures at the enddeclares the minister. Being what they are in France, we can only progress. » In his eyes, the priority is to“anchor the habit” of this vaccination, a “huge challenge” for the 5,400 public colleges and the 1,700 private establishments to which it was offered.

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Mr. Rousseau expects big differences between regions. In Brittany, he argues, “it works very, very strong”. He believes that“It’s going to take a little tenacity” to bring the campaign against HPV into the mainstream. The minister does not hear “make people feel guilty, because it’s up to us to convince”.

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