July 27, 2021

the government fears a vaccine “glass ceiling”

On this May 21, the atmosphere is light in the streets of Nevers. Emmanuel Macron wanders all smiles in the heart of the medieval city on the sidelines of a trip devoted to culture. The terraces have reopened for two days, symbol of the success of deconfinement, which sees the Covid-19 epidemic ebb and France reach on time the milestone of 20 million people vaccinated.

The Head of State leans on a railing and questions a man seated in front of a restaurant. “Have you been vaccinated? “, he asks. “I’m afraid for the vaccine. I’m waiting for Sanofi “, answers the person concerned, snatching an embarrassed silence from the President of the Republic. “I understand the doubts, but, if I may, do it this summer. Sanofi, it won’t be before this fall ”, replies Emmanuel Macron, before adding, about the vaccine: “It has an impact. “

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Behind the euphoria represented by the opening of vaccination to the entire adult population, Monday, May 31, a concern points: will the French be enough to agree to be vaccinated to achieve collective immunity, and thus prevent a fourth wave? In the immediate future, the demand for vaccines still exceeds the supply, one reminds one within the government. But the scarcity of candidates for vaccination may pose a problem this summer.

“The glass ceiling, we see it comingblows a minister. We may end up in a situation where we will have more doses than people who get vaccinated. “ This decline has been encountered since early May in the United States, a country more advanced than France in its vaccination campaign. “The danger is that we no longer talk about the Covid and that in the middle of summer people no longer think about getting vaccinated. We must anticipate this phenomenon ”, underlines an adviser to the executive.

“Building on trust”

According to the Cevipof barometer for The world, published on May 21, 65% of French people over 18 intend to be vaccinated against Covid-19, or have already done so. A figure up 16 points compared to February. The government information service (GIS), for its part, commissioned a study claiming that 81% of the adult population would be ready to immunize.

Reassuring, but perhaps not sufficient: the Institut Pasteur estimates that collective immunity can only be achieved if 80% to 90% of adults are vaccinated. “Initially, it was thought that 70% of the vaccinated population made it possible to achieve collective immunity, but the arrival of variants and mutations linked to the contagiousness of the virus increased the threshold to more than 80%”, explains epidemiologist Didier Pittet. “We have to be clear, the virus is here to stay. The issue of vaccination is therefore essential to hope to regain a normal life “, adds the scientist, who wrote a report, at the request of the executive, on the management of the health crisis in France.

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