Have the famous “refractory Gauls” put water in their wine? This is the opinion of Doctor Jacques Battistoni, president of the MG France union, who held a press conference on Thursday. According to him and the numerous returns of liberal doctors in France, the French seem more and more in favor of vaccination.
“We see it daily in our consultations, people over 75 want to be vaccinated. These are people exhausted by the restrictions, who practice a form of self-containment, who no longer have social relations. They can’t take it anymore and they have understood that the only way out is vaccination“explains the president of the union of general practitioners.
For Jacques Battistoni, it is therefore the fear of seeing the current situation settle permanently, amplified by the arrival of the British variant of Covid-19, which helps to explain a change in opinion. As a reminder, at the end of December, a survey showed that only 4 in 10 French people wanted to be vaccinated, making the country one of the most resistant in the world.
A new poll published this Thursday morning confirms this clear increase in supportive people. The study carried out by Elabe for BFMTV shows that 47% of the people questioned intend to be vaccinated, and they therefore become the majority compared to those who are opposed to it and those who do not know it yet. This figure is above all up 9 points compared to last week.
This is confirmed by Christian Rabaud, infectious disease specialist and president of the medical commission for establishments at the Nancy CHRU. Interviewed this Thursday on franceinfo, he said that of the 19,000 people affected by the vaccination of over 75s, excluding nursing homes, in Nancy, 15,000 have already made an appointment. “There is a very strong demand at the beginning, it is a good message and it is a good sign. In any case, there is a real craze for vaccination“, he rejoices.
The other reason that explains this increase in adherence to vaccination is “all the messages we have been sending over the past few weeks which are starting to bear fruit. People also find that among the millions of people vaccinated around the world, there has been no incident. It has a lot to do with membership“explains Jacques Battistoni.
While this increase in the number of people wanting to be vaccinated is good news for health professionals, they want to make their anger known. The number of vaccine doses available in France is not increasing, contrary to people’s demand.
“We were taken by boat“considers Jacques Battistoni.”We have 50,000 general practitioners who are ready to vaccinate but there are no vaccines. “ The president of MG France expresses his anger while the doses available in France are mostly reserved for hospitals. Nothing is ready for the vaccination centers supervised by liberal doctors, who will be able to carry out the injections from Monday.
“The government tells French people over 75 to make an appointment, but we don’t know how many doses we are going to have, so we cannot plan the vaccination windows“he explains.”We have a very large target with 6.3 million people over 75 years of age and we have, for the next two months, just over 5 million doses. So, we will have to gradually schedule this vaccination. We can’t vaccinate everyone right away, starting next Monday“continues Jacques Battistoni.
For the Doctor, there is a very strong demand from patients over 75 to be vaccinated. “Not a consultation happens without them asking us questions. When, where and how they can get the vaccine. And we don’t know what to say to them. These people at risk because of their age do not want to go to hospitals where they fear being infected. They want to do it with their attending physician, in local centers“explains Jacques Battistoni.
Problem while vaccination is due to start Monday in 600 centers in France, Jacques Battistoni affirms that the liberal doctors “still do not have approval” for “pilot“these structures.
The president of the MG France union indicates that the doctors also say they are ready to go and vaccinate at home for patients who cannot travel. But general practitioners are in total fog regarding the doses they will have at their disposal.
The government calls for “patience”
Traveling to Metz CHR this Thursday, Prime Minister Jean Castex called for the “patience“, noting”with satisfaction that membership is increasing “ with the French. Since Thursday, people over 75 who do not reside in nursing homes can make an appointment to be vaccinated. Website sante.fr which allows you to make an appointment online was inoperative this Thursday morning, visibly a victim of its success with 8,000 connections per second. A national toll-free number must be unveiled this Thursday evening to allow an appointment to be made and to be redirected to a local center.
“Things are falling into place, but you will also have to be patient, because obviously it will create a rush, it’s completely normal“, declared the head of government to the press.”It’s a very large operation, unprecedented with a vaccine that has characteristics – it must be kept at minus 80 degrees here at the CHR in Metz – which create constraints that everyone will understand. But we’re gonna do it“, he added.
The Prime Minister will hold a press conference this Thursday at 6 p.m. in which he will come back to the vaccination campaign in France. He should also announce the extension of the curfew from 6 p.m. to the entire territory. The press conference can be followed live on France Bleu.