Coronavirus: The Government Faces the Challenge of Confidence in Vaccines

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The government faces a challenge trying to get people to take coronavirus vaccine

EPIDEMIC: The government unveiled its vaccination plan for the country, but the mistrust of the French remains very strong today

  • The government presented its vaccination strategy to deputies on Wednesday and to senators this Thursday, but the mistrust of the French remains high.
  • To encourage adhesion to this non-compulsory vaccine, which will be deployed in the European Union from December 27th, Prime Minister Jean Castex has promised “total transparency”. But the opposition regrets that all doubts have not been removed.
  • The majority rely on pedagogy, the role of doctors and a “snowball effect” to convince more and more French people.

This is one of the government’s next challenges . Jean Castex unveiled the executive’s vaccine strategy against the coronavirus at the National Assembly on Wednesday . France will be delivered “by the end of the year” of around 1.16 million doses against Covid-19, said the Prime Minister, then “677,000 additional doses around January 5-6″ and ” about 1.6 million doses in February ”.

The head of government also insisted on the need to restore confidence. “Faced with fear, doubt, suspicion, we will explain as much as necessary, we will reassure, we will accompany and, above all, we will protect”, launched Jean Castex , promising “total transparency” on this campaign of vaccination.

“This lack of confidence is the legacy of the way the crisis was handled”

Because, in France, mistrust is particularly strong, while the epidemic has resulted in more than 59,000 deaths in the country. According to a survey by the French public health agency , only half (53%) of people questioned in November want to be vaccinated, against two thirds (64%) in July. One of the lowest figures in the world, despite the free and non-compulsory nature of the vaccine.

“This lack of confidence is the legacy of the way in which the crisis was managed because the executive has been anything but up to the task from the start,” says Lot deputy Aurélien Pradié. “If they’re dealing with vaccines like they’ve handled screening or the mask issue , I’m not very optimistic. It is up to them to be precise on the means implemented. It is only by restoring confidence that the vaccine strategy can be successful! », Adds number 3 of the Republicans.

“This mistrust must be put into perspective because today, the vaccine is not yet available. If we put aside the core of the antivax , it is legitimate that a certain number of French people are asking questions, answers Anne Genetet, Member of the French nationals abroad and spokesperson for the LREM group in the Assembly. “For a new vaccine, one in two French people ready to be vaccinated is pretty good! “, Wants to believe Philippe Chalumeau, LREM deputy of Indre-et-Loire. “Not to mention that the RNA technique is not yet sufficiently explained to the general public”.

A “snowball effect” after the first vaccinations?

By starting by targeting residents of retirement homes at the end of the month, then people at risk and certain health professionals, the government is counting on the gradual membership of the population. The “general public” vaccination campaign should not begin until “late spring”.

“When we see the first effects of the vaccine on reducing the number of deaths or hospitalizations, we will no longer doubt its effectiveness. People will want so much to find their social life that they will ask to be vaccinated ”, hopes Anne Genetet. “There will also be a certain number of prescribers, who will be able to talk about it around them, and it will snowball. ”

The executive also relies on the role of general practitioners. “The doctor-patient relationship is the best to create confidence in this vaccine,” said MP Philippe Chalumeau, a doctor by training. “There will be a pre-vaccination consultation to obtain the patient’s consent and answer all of their questions. We will do everything in our power to make an informed decision. The vaccinated French will then be the best ambassadors, ”he adds.

The opposition calls for more transparency

The kick-off of the vaccine campaign is conditional on the marketing authorization of the European Medicines Agency , “expected for December 21st”, and an opinion from the High Health Authority expected “in the stride ”. It is not a “delay” compared to the United Kingdom and the United States which began to vaccinate, defended Alain Fischer, the “Mr. vaccine” of the government on France Inter Wednesday , but on the contrary a pledge of ” rigor ”.


But for the opposition, all doubts have not been removed. Fabien Roussel asked Thursday for “transparency” on vaccines, and in particular on contracts signed by the European Commission with pharmaceutical companies. “For there to be confidence, for people to adhere to this urgent need to be vaccinated, [we need] to be transparent, to say what is in these contracts, clauses that there could be ”, estimated on BFMTV the national secretary of the PCF

In the hemicycle on Wednesday, the centrist group UDI pleaded for a “green passport”, allowing access to cultural places or restaurants on condition of having been vaccinated. An option that the government has not chosen for the moment.

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