Covid-19: the fifth wave “is here”, but we are not “in the same situation as in March 2020”, estimates Elie Azoulay, resuscitator

The fifth wave of Covid-19 “is here”, confirmed on Wednesday, November 17 in franceinfo Professor Elie Azoulay, resuscitator, head of the intensive care unit of Saint-Louis hospital, after Gabriel Attal, the government spokesman affirmed that “the fifth wave is here it comes, but we have good reason to believe that it will not take everything in its path.” “We cannot say that we are in the same situation as in March-April 2020”, tempera Elie Azoulay. Yes Strengthening health measures remains an “eminently political” decision, the doctor encourages people between 50 and 65 to “make an appointment” for the third dose “before the end of the year holidays”.

franceinfo: did this fifth wave reach the Saint-Louis hospital?

Elie Azoulay: It’s there. I could not say that it is a fifth wave since we are not starting from scratch. We’ve never gotten all of this down to zero lately. In the last few weeks, in the last few months, several of our patients got infected with Covid all the time. And there is simply more. I work in intensive care, that is, I have more patients who are detected positive by PCR, more patients who are hospitalized, but in a lower proportion compared to previous waves, and more than patients in intensive care, but in an even lower proportion .

Have these arriving patients been vaccinated?

For the most part, no. For the vast majority of patients we have, they are patients who have not been vaccinated. We also have a group of patients who are immunosuppressed and who do not have the necessary immune defenses to develop antibodies after vaccination. So these are patients for whom no immunization is expected. There is a whole set of protocols that are carried out to limit the severity in these patients, but they may be in intensive care. And then we have patients who have been vaccinated, who have received two injections of the vaccine and who have lost their immunity over time and are therefore now eligible for the third injection.

Given the situation, do you think it is necessary to strengthen health measures, as is the case with our neighbors? Belgium has decided, for example, to generalize the use of masks and to make teleworking compulsory. Should we do the same?

They are eminently political decisions. We are in a country where the vaccination rate is still very impressive. The problem is especially with unvaccinated populations for different reasons. In these people, the vulnerability is immense. And the risk of getting a serious form is higher. It’s even important enough that these people have to consider getting vaccinated anyway. However, sanitary measures are also highly dependent on how the previous waves were absorbed. Today we cannot say that we are in the same situation as a year ago, and less than in March-April 2020.

For people who have been vaccinated, is it important to take the third dose?

Yes, especially if the injection was six months old. Over time, protection against a positive CRP, but also against hospitalization, decreases. So when you are six months old, you will have to get vaccinated again. This “boost”, this third injection, will once again allow the expected efficacy of previous vaccines. With the third injection, we return to efficacy against positivity, hospitalization, and intensive care hospitalization.

Does this third dose work very quickly, unlike the first two?

Absolutely. It is effective in a few days. And it is recommended, even for people who are between 50 and 65 years old, when the second injection is between five and six months old, to make an appointment and organize things to do it, especially before the end of the year or family celebrations. the meetings will once again be exposed to new contaminations.

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