Martin Servat (ARS): “Vaccination brings collective benefits” – Le Quotidien de la Réunion

Martina Servat believes that adolescents can also develop severe forms of covidosis. (Photo by DR)

  • By being vaccinated, we can remain infectious, but less dangerous. An obvious paradox that Martina Servat deciphers, director of territorial activities and health courses at ARS, who insists on a collective measurement of vaccination.
  • – Does the covid vaccine prevent other people from infecting?
  • – Thanks to the vaccine, the viral load is reduced in those who benefit from it. Therefore, they are less contagious. But the latter also protects against serious forms, which occur, in particular, in the elderly and people at risk. But there are also young people who have been affected by these severe forms of the coronavirus, as evidenced by the May notice of the virus’s impact on the adolescent population.
  • “However, despite the injections, clusters reappeared, including those vaccinated. Does it bother you?
  • – When you are vaccinated, the transmission of covid is less important. But it does exist. Indeed, in institutions, in particular in nursing homes, there were groups that included people who were vaccinated. But serious forms were not observed and the effect of the disease was less.
  • – So the gesture of vaccination is in a collective perspective?
  • – There are individual benefits of vaccination, because serious forms can have different profiles, but there is also a collective benefit. The more people we vaccinate, the more we reduce our total viral load. If we achieve good coverage, it will allow us to reduce the impact of this epidemic and reduce the risk of the spread of covid.
  • – Taking into account the South African option, are locally available vaccines effective in preventing re-infection?
  • “We know Pfizer is effective on the South African option. Janssen has also been tested and is working. That is why they have become available to our territory. However, we do not yet have a sufficient level of coverage to be able to accurately estimate infectivity despite these vaccines. So far, 20% of the population of Réunion has received their first injection.

“After vaccination, the possibility of transmission of covid is less important, but exists.”

  • – How can you explain the smaller proportion of vaccinated people on Reunion Island compared to the mainland?
  • “This low vaccination rate can be explained by the fact that our vaccination campaign started later than in mainland France. But also the fact that in the beginning we had fewer doses due to the generally younger population on the island. There are also concerns about this new vaccine. Some older people also have a risk assessment, which is not always a good thing. They think they are leading an isolated social life and prefer not to get vaccinated. But sometimes, going through the housework is enough.
  • – How does ARS plan to support and renew this campaign?
  • – Risk disclosure complied with. Especially with the number of people in intensive care. But we count on the trust and closeness that Reunions have with their doctors and pharmacists to advance vaccination. I also want to say that we are the only branch in France that has Pfizer vaccines for urban medicine. Dialogue and pedagogy should be promoted.
  • – Could more vaccination centers and sites be opened?
  • – From Sunday 6 June, almost all vaccination centers on Reunion Island will be open on Sunday. In addition, volunteers at Nordev, La Possession, Pierrefonds and CHOR will be able to come and get vaccinated on Sunday without an appointment and throughout the day.
  • Is it possible for Reunion to achieve herd immunity?
  • – To affect this immunity, it is necessary to vaccinate from 80 to 85% of the population. Israel, which is the benchmark in this area, has 60% of the population vaccinated and we are seeing a return to normal in terms of restrictive measures. We must achieve the same result, but for this we must enlist the support of the population. This is discussed, but also through understanding the importance of vaccination at a collective level.

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