EPIDEMIC: It will above all be symbolic covid-19 vaccination, the real massive campaign will begin more in January
A 78-year-old woman was this Sunday the first person vaccinated in France against Covid-19, at the René-Muret hospital in Sevran, in Seine-Saint-Denis. “I am moved”, declared the seventy-year-old, first vaccinated, Mauricette, a former housekeeper, vaccinated around 11 am in the long-term care unit of the René-Muret hospital in Sevran, establishment of the Public assistance – Paris Hospitals (AP-HP).
A glimmer of hope in the fight against the coronavirus on Boxing Day: like her, around twenty elderly people and caregivers will be the first French people to be vaccinated this Sunday against Covid-19 , at the end of a year in mourning by a virus that has killed more than 62,500 people in the country.
After the green light given on December 21st to the product of the American Pfizer and the German BioNTech by the European Union, almost all of its member states are simultaneously launching their vaccination campaign, opened one day in advance by Germany, Hungary and Slovakia.
Start protecting the most fragile
The vaccine, sent this Saturday to France under good escort, was particularly expected in France, where the virus is actively circulating and the presence of its British variant, possibly more contagious, was confirmed on Friday in a patient. “We cannot afford to let the epidemic flare up again,” the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, warned in the Sunday Journal. Asked about the possibility of a third confinement, he said he was ready to take “the necessary measures, if the situation were to worsen”.
Anyway, Olivier Véran sees “very good news” in the launch of the vaccination campaign. “This vaccine protects 95% of individuals against severe cases and will save many lives,” said the minister, satisfied to be able “to start protecting the most fragile among us”.
Two Ehpad as a symbol
The symbolic launch of the French vaccine campaign takes place this Sunday in two accommodation facilities for the elderly , one located in Seine-Saint-Denis, a department that has paid a heavy price for the Covid, the other in Bourgogne-Franche -County, one of the regions with the highest incidence rate of the virus.
In the morning, around ten residents over 75 years old from the long-term care unit of René-Muret hospital in Sevran (Assistance publique – Hôpitaux de Paris), as well as one of their doctors over 65 years old, will receive a first dose of the vaccine.
Gradual increase in the number of vaccines
At the beginning of the afternoon, it will be the turn of another ten residents of the geriatric center of Champmaillot, dependent on the Dijon University Hospital, and a specialist doctor over the age of 65, to receive in turn the Pfizer-BioNTech, named Comirnaty in reference to the technology used (messenger RNA, or mRNA in English).
The ramp-up of the vaccination campaign will be gradual: next week it will concern 23 establishments in the regions of Paris, Lyon, Lille and Tours, before intensifying to reach around a hundred places in the first two weeks of January.
15 million people by summer
The government has set by the end of February the goal of one million vaccinated among the oldest and most vulnerable, individuals and caregivers, in the 7,000 nursing homes and other similar establishments. “All retirees over 65” will follow until the spring, then the rest of the population aged 16 and over, again on a voluntary basis.
The government hopes to have vaccinated “15 million people by this summer,” said Matignon on Saturday, a deadline slightly delayed compared to what had been envisaged.