EPIDEMIC: The coronavirus vaccine has not yet been validated as politicians are already speaking out in favour of its obligation. A good idea?
- This Monday, the hypothesis of finding a vaccine against the coronavirus was reinforced by the announcement of a vaccine candidate 90% effective.
- Shortly after this announcement, politicians launched the idea of imposing a future vaccine on a French population deemed very recalcitrant.
- Do we really have to make vaccination compulsory?
The announcement on Monday of a vaccine candidate 90% effective against the coronavirus ignited political debates. If a vaccine was found, should it be made compulsory in order to ensure the sacrosanct collective immunity of the population and to get rid of the epidemic waves of Covid-19? The debate arises all the more in France, where only 55% of the population say they are ready to be vaccinated according to an Ipsos poll published on Tuesday. An Odoxa poll published on Thursday showed that 60% of French people would oppose the compulsory nature of the vaccine.
Should we force the recalcitrant to be vaccinated? Many politicians have already addressed the issue. Yannick Jadot, leader of Europe Ecology The Greens, speaking on Tuesday for an obligation of vaccination. The Socialist Party asked him this Thursday that a potential vaccine against the coronavirus be considered as a universal common good, but left the choice in its motion for a resolution to the government to decide for an obligation of vaccination. A good idea? “20 Minutes” takes stock.
Can we make a vaccine mandatory?
Yes, and this is already the case in France for diphtheria, tetanus and polio, also known under the name of DTP, compulsory for infants and children, then strongly encouraged by recall. For diphtheria alone, compulsory vaccination even dates back to 1938. A parent refusing to have his child vaccinated against DTP can be punished with 2 years’ imprisonment and a fine of 30,000 euros.
Is it possible to impose a vaccine against the coronavirus?
“The more I see the mistrust of the populations, the more I tell myself that a strict obligation, without debate and not targeted does not really make sense and would only strengthen conspiracy theories”, says Hélène Rossinot, doctor and health expert public, for whom it will first be necessary to resolve “the crisis of confidence” that the medical and political world is going through. Same opinion from the general practitioner and author Christian Lehmann: “The role of medicine is to convince, not to impose, we must not enter into a paternalistic medicine. To impose is to have lost confidence. ”
The doctor also noticed it well, “it is sometimes more difficult to vaccinate people now that more and more vaccines are obligatory than before, where one could go there with pedagogy”. According to him, even some parents who agree to have their children vaccinated without complaining, nevertheless retain “resentment and mistrust of medicine, which now appears to be political and no longer just health. ”
Last point for Hélène Rossinot and not the least, compulsory vaccines like DTP have been proven for decades, “and have proven to be very effective and harmless. Which is more justifiable to impose than a new, inevitably unknown long-term vaccine. ”
How to restore confidence?
If we refuse the imposition of vaccination, should we still worry about this percentage of French sceptics and start now to try to convince the population of the interest of vaccination against the coronavirus in order to to have more favourable French people, as soon as the vaccine comes out?
For Hélène Rossinot, not at all, on the contrary, you have to wait for the vaccine to come out to start talking about its benefits, a question of the crisis of confidence, once again. “There has been so much trial and error, scientific and political reversals during this health crisis that for once, we’d better delay and wait for solid facts. We are not going to sell the virtues of a vaccine that does not yet exist! Let’s wait to have perspective and facts for once, and from the moment we have them, we will convince the French. “Several” reversals “in government or scientific words have indeed since the beginning of the crisis been sources of distrust: masks, hydroxychloroquine.
In this sense, Christian Lehmann even finds rather logical and reassuring the percentage of French sceptics with a future vaccination: Fortunately that people are wary and worried when one speaks to them of an obligation of a product which does not exist. Before convincing, therefore, it remains to bring facts and put scientific evidence on the table.