in France, vaccination for all on the starting line

No more age or state of health criteria: from Monday, the entire major population of France will be eligible for vaccination against Covid-19, a crucial step to avoid a rebound in the epidemic while the restrictions are ‘gradually lighten up.

The 18-49 year olds were officially the last category to be able to join the vaccination campaign without conditions, which has grown in stages since its start at the end of December.

Candidates must nevertheless be patient: reservations, which started four days ago, are arriving “gradually” on specialized internet platforms (Doctolib, Keldoc, Maiia), according to the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran . New meeting slots will be put online “every day”, he said.

Doctolib, the main booking platform, expects a large influx but warned that it could not meet all patient requests, given the “still limited number of doses of vaccines, including Pfizer and Moderna”.

“28 million adults are eligible for vaccination and not vaccinated to date for an average of 500,000 appointments available each day,” added the main booking platform.

Vaccinating as widely as possible is a major issue to avoid a resumption of the epidemic in the weeks and months to come.

Health indicators continued to improve on Saturday, with 10,675 positive cases recorded across the country, while 16,847 Covid patients were treated in hospital, including 3,028 in critical care services (around 500 less than last week ).

Despite this dynamic of decline, the figure of 10,000 new daily cases of contamination “is not sufficient” to rule out the specter of a fourth wave, estimates in the JDD Arnaud Fontanet, epidemiologist at the Pasteur Institute.

– “Fifteen crucial days” –

“What the scenarios show us is that if the decline continues until June 9, the next step in the lifting of restrictions, we will have a quiet summer”, explains Professor Fontanet, member of the scientific council, who guides the government.

For that, “the next fortnight will be crucial”, he warns, calling on the French not to relax the barrier gestures, especially indoors where the risk of contamination is higher.

As for wearing a mask outdoors, with the arrival of sunny days, “the fear is that many unvaccinated people will take advantage of it” to “fall too”, notes the epidemiologist, while some cities, such as in New -Aquitaine or Moselle, have already announced a reduction, or even a lifting of the obligation to hide.

More optimistic, Professor Pierre Parneix, hygienist and public health doctor at the Bordeaux University Hospital, anticipates in Le Parisien that we will be able to remove the mask “from the beginning of June”, in certain sparsely populated places, “if the positive dynamic is confirmed “. And on the condition of continuing to apply the other barrier gestures: hand disinfection, distancing … especially for the unvaccinated.

At this stage, 25,315,595 people have received at least one injection (i.e. 37.8% of the total population and 48.2% of the adult population), and 10,742,886 people have received two injections (i.e. 16% of the total population and 20.5% of the adult population).

The government’s objective of 30 million first-time vaccines by June 15 appears tenable. The rest is more uncertain, however, and the health authorities absolutely want to prevent vaccination from peaking this summer at an insufficient level. The watchword is therefore to seek out all those who are entitled to vaccination.

Another major lever: the upcoming vaccination of adolescents, which would accelerate the collective protection of the population. On Friday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gave the green light for the use of Pfizer / BioNTech’s product for 12-15 year olds. The Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS) should say in the middle of the week if it can be administered to adolescents in France.

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