France exceeded the 10 million first injections of Covid-19 vaccines on Thursday, a symbolic bar but still very far from total protection in the face of the epidemic, which is increasingly filling the intensive care units.
“We are a week ahead (on) the objective I had set,” said Prime Minister Jean Castex, who made the announcement during a trip organized for the occasion to the center of vaccination of Nogent-sur-Marne, near Paris.
The next caps are now the 20 million first doses in mid-May, then 30 million in mid-June.
Since the very first injection in the shoulder of Mauricette, a resident of Ehpad, on December 27, the vaccination campaign in France has rarely looked like a long quiet river: marked at first by a delay in ignition, it was then shaken, like other European countries, by the disappointments of AstraZeneca, between drops in deliveries and questions about side effects, more relevant than ever.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the first time officially established a link on Wednesday between the vaccine from the Anglo-Swedish laboratory and rare cases of blood clots, while estimating that the benefit / risk balance remained positive.
– Astra, “I don’t want it” –
Despite the very low number of these atypical thromboses listed (222 out of 34 million injections in the European Economic Area and in the United Kingdom), confidence in this product, reserved in France for over 55s, will be a crucial subject. , while the country expects 3 million doses of AstraZeneca in April, then another 3.5 million the following month, out of a total of 42.8 million doses all vaccines combined at the end of May.
“People had appointments, they came and they left when they saw that it was Astra, saying + I don’t want any +”, Dr Thierry Mraovic, doctor, testified to AFP. coordinator of the Gravelines vaccination center (North).
The government has always ruled out the idea of compulsory vaccination. But the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said Thursday that this principle, applied in the Czech Republic, could be considered “necessary in a democratic society”.
In the immediate future, the Covid-19 continues to fill the intensive care units: Thursday evening, there were 5,705 patients in critical care which brings together resuscitation, intensive care and continuous monitoring, against 5,729 on Wednesday.
With more than 2,000 hospitalizations in 24 hours, the total number of people in the hospital reaches 30,555. A figure down slightly compared to the day before. Also in 24 hours, 345 new deaths were recorded in hospitals.
– Do not relax the measurements –
At present, more than 70% of nursing home residents have been vaccinated with two doses, but the level drops to just over 30% for 75-79 year olds in town (64% of first doses) and only 7% in 70-74 years (40% of first doses).
“In May we will not have reached at all the levels (of vaccination coverage) which allow the measures to be relaxed in a large way, some yes, perhaps …”, told AFP epidemiologist Dominique Costagliola .
The subject is hot for the government, while many sectors, such as restaurants or cultural venues, have not been able to welcome the public for more than five months and that the head of state, Emmanuel Macron, has promised a start of reopening in mid-May.
The latest in a long list of sporting and cultural events to be subjected to the Covid law, the Roland-Garros tournament has been postponed for a week, to May 30.
The “hospital situation is serious,” said government spokesman Gabriel Attal, recalling that France had increased its number of intensive care beds to 8,000.
The executive, which brings together a new health defense council on Thursday, hopes to quickly see the effects of the closure of schools since Monday.
“We have the first encouraging signals in the sixteen departments where additional braking measures were taken on March 20,” commented Mr. Attal, stressing the importance of compliance with health measures.
It is because they are suspected of having raped them that a priest and a clergyman were placed in police custody on Thursday: they must be questioned about a mass on Saturday in a Parisian church during which the barrier gestures did not have been respected.
bur-arb-pr-adm / rh / cbn