The President of the Republic does not intend to make the anti-coronavirus vaccine compulsory. However, only 20% of French people say they are ready to be vaccinated as soon as possible …
“We will probably start at the end of December, at the beginning of January, subject to validation by the health authorities, by vaccinating the most fragile people and therefore the oldest”, declared the President of the Republic, during his televisual address of Tuesday, November 24 2020. There are detailed the modalities of de-confinement, of course, but not only: the Head of State, recalls the Huffington Post, also focused on the vaccination campaigns necessary to reduce the epidemic. Emmanuel Macron intends to launch them as quickly as possible. “I want to be clear, I would not make vaccination compulsory”, he nevertheless specified, explaining that he wanted the fight against coronavirus Covid-19 to be done “in a clear, transparent way, by sharing at each stage all the information, what we know as well as what we don’t know “.
The fact is, however, that many French people are not convinced by the vaccines that may soon be on the market. According to an exclusive BVA survey for Europe 1, only 20% of them really plan to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The others, while they have not all clearly and simply refused the vaccine, say they fear side effects and worry about the speed of the development of these products. For the radio, this is already good news, especially because of the global anti-vaccine discourse and the mistrust that the population has been able to show with regard to the health management of the crisis. CoVid. This does not mean that such a situation is without risk, notes Gérard Dine, hospital biologist, associate professor in biotechnology at the École Centrale de Paris and former director of a haematology service.
Covid-19: should we fear the “little” yes of the French?
All in all, recalls Europe 1, 60% of French women and men theoretically say they are ready to be vaccinated. But not immediately …
“It is very disturbing, I find, to note that only 20% of French people are ready to be vaccinated in the first intention when we know that France is the country of Pasteur, who was the father of vaccination. the country is one of the founders of the fight against infectious diseases and this evolution is surprising. 20% is too little “, analyzes the doctor for whom not to be vaccinated amounts in fine to not interrupting the process of dissemination of the virus.
What is the risk if the French do not get vaccinated against Covid-19?
“The vaccine is useful not only because it protects individually but also – and above all – because it protects collectively. Therefore, refusing to be vaccinated is to take risks and make others take risks”, continues the former director of the haematological service, not without recalling that in practice, the vaccine seems to constitute “the only way to achieve collective immunity”. “Until now, and this is also true for Sweden which has systematically refused containment, the natural evolution of the pandemic has never led to collective immunity, on a national scale and even less on a global scale”, comments Gérard Dine.
Of course, theoretically, there could be other solutions than the vaccine to fight against the pandemic. “A direct and specific treatment for a virus makes it possible to block the contamination and its possible short-term evolution as well as the seriousness of its evolution in the medium or long term. We have this kind of anti-viral drugs for diseases like herpes for example, whose proliferation is known to be reduced. This is not the case for CoVid, which can only be treated in the acute or super-acute phases immediately, “the doctor continues. In short, the vaccine therefore appears to be the only solution. “This is a response that we qualify as ‘primary’, because it blocks the spread of the virus,” says the specialist.
Coronavirus: you are not only responsible for your own protection
Certainly, the concerns mentioned by the French are understandable. They are also relayed by a section of the French political class. “It is irresponsible to speak of compulsory vaccination on a vaccine of which nothing is known about the efficacy and harmlessness”, affirmed, for example, Michèle Rivasi, MEP Europe Ecology-The Greens, before the position of the president of the Republic.
Il est irresponsable de parler d’obligation vaccinale sur un vaccin dont on connaît rien de l’efficacité et de l’innocuité. Les chiffres donnés par @pfizer concernent seulement 94 volontaires. Pour l’heure il ne s’agit que d’un bon coup commercial et financier pour ce labo ! https://t.co/KfGLqqqh16
— Michèle Rivasi 🌍 (@MicheleRivasi) November 10, 2020
However, recalls Gérard Dine, the vaccine does not concern the individual alone. “We are all potential relays of the virus. By agreeing to be vaccinated, we, therefore, choose not to participate in its dissemination … and rather to take part in the health of the community”, underlines the medical biologist; not without recalling that when Louis Pasteur created the very first vaccine, the risk also existed. “Today the health environment is not the same, we are much more experienced,” he underlines.
And he admits, however, that it is not yet possible to say how effective the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will be, how safe they will be. “Until the scientific results – in the literal sense of the term, I am not talking about the press releases we have had so far – have not been made public, we cannot affirm that the scientific reality corresponds to that advanced by businesses, ”he explains.
There is however a reason which explains the rapidity of research and production of these vaccines. “The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were built using new methods, relying on biotechnologies that we had never used before in this way. They are overall more stylish and faster, but pose problems in storage, because the solutions created are more fragile. Overall, rather than cultivating and killing – or attenuating – the virus, therapeutic proteins are produced. It is more effective, but also more expensive, “explains the associate professor in biotechnology, who teaches at the École Centrale de Paris.