Covid-19: the health pass now also in force for adolescents

Published on: 09/30/2021 – 08:07

The health pass for young people aged 12 to 17 came into force in France on Thursday morning. Like their elders, teens now have to show off to access many activities.

They had escaped him until then. To fight against Covid-19, French adolescents aged 12 to 17 must in turn, as of Thursday, September 30, present a health pass for many activities: cinema, restaurant, swimming pool …

Adults have already been forced to do so for almost two months. They must periodically present this document in the form of a QR code, certifying that they have been vaccinated against Covid-19, or that they have carried out a negative test in the previous 72 hours, or that they have contracted the disease in the last hours. 6 months and therefore believed to be immune.

>> Read: Covid-19: France wants to be able to use the health pass until the summer of 2022

It is required in many contexts that it will be the same for adolescents: going out to eat, taking the train for a long trip, going to the cinema or the swimming pool …

It is impossible to know at the moment how long this obligation will last. Even if the epidemic has subsided in France since August, a bill is being prepared to extend the pass restriction beyond November 15. The government wants to “keep the possibility” of using it “until the summer” of 2022, its spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday.

About two-thirds of youth ages 12 to 17 vaccinated

Until now, teens had escaped it because they were behind in vaccination. In fact, health authorities have only allowed 12 to 17-year-olds since June to receive an anti-Covid vaccine: first from Pfizer / BioNTech, then joined Moderna.

There is, moreover, a subtlety in this regard. It is only from 12 years and two months that the pass must be presented. If we ask a 12-year-old exactly, he would not have had time to get fully vaccinated because he would not have had the right until then.

Now, short of the vaccination rate for their elders, youth ages 12-17 have largely caught up. About two-thirds of them are fully immunized.

>> See: health pass, Europe at various speeds

The government has tried to accelerate the movement by organizing vaccination drives in middle and high schools at the beginning of the school year. But these have barely worked: fewer than 30,000 doses have been injected.

“Sometimes there are some … difficulties in collecting family membership,” the Health Ministry admitted at a press conference on Tuesday.

From 12 to 15 years, the agreement of only one of the two parents, or legal representatives, is sufficient. Children under the age of 16 can decide to get vaccinated without parental permission.

Free PCR tests for minors

But the issue of vaccinating minors is sensitive and is one of the main grievances expressed during the weekly demonstrations against the health pass, whose attendance has been declining since late summer.

In this context, the government accepted some concessions for minors. Unlike unvaccinated adults, everyone will be able to continue to routinely benefit from free PCR testing after October 15.

>> Read: Covid-19: 50 million French people were vaccinated first, and now?

The vaccination of minors remains, in any case, the subject of scientific debate, given the very low risk of developing a severe form of Covid-19 in this age group. Therefore, the greatest interest is collective.

By being vaccinated, young people “help to stop the spread of the virus in the community and limit the congestion of hospitals,” explains epidemiologist Antoine Flahault to AFP, however, also evoking their individual risk, if they contract the disease, of develop sequels, called Long Covid.

With AFP


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