French adolescents had for several months escaped the constraint of the health pass imposed on their elders in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. As of Thursday, September 30, they must present it in turn for many activities: cinema, restaurant, swimming pool, etc.
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Adults have been forced to do so for almost two months. They must regularly present this document in the form of a QR code, which certifies either that they have been vaccinated against Covid-19, or that they have recently performed a negative test, or that they have already contracted the disease. and are therefore supposed to be immune. It is required in many contexts which will be the same for adolescents: eating out, taking the train for a long trip, going to the cinema or to the swimming pool …
An obligation that can last
It is impossible to know for the time being how long this obligation will last. Even if the epidemic has calmed down in France since August, a bill is in preparation to extend beyond November 15 the constraint of the pass. The government wants “Maintain the possibility” to resort to it“Until summer” 2022, said his spokesperson, Gabriel Attal, on Wednesday (September 29).
Adolescents had hitherto escaped it because they were behind schedule in terms of vaccination. Indeed, the health authorities have only allowed 12-17 year olds since June to receive an anti-Covid vaccine: first that of Pfizer / BioNTech, then joined by the serum of Moderna.
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There remains, moreover, in this respect, a subtlety. It is only from 12 years and two months that the pass must be presented. If we asked a 12-year-old child exactly, he would not have had time to be fully vaccinated because he would not have been entitled until then.
Two-thirds of adolescents vaccinated
Now, without reaching the vaccination rate of their elders, 12-17 year olds have largely recovered. About two thirds of them are fully immunized. The government has sought to accelerate the movement by organizing vaccination campaigns in middle and high schools at the start of the school year. But these hardly produced any results: less than 30,000 doses were injected there.
“There are sometimes some (…) difficulties in collecting family memberships”, the health ministry admitted at a press conference on Tuesday. From 12 to 15 years old, the agreement of only one of the two parents, or legal representatives is sufficient. Minors over 16 can decide to be vaccinated without parental permission.
Vaccination of minors, grievance of anti-pass
The subject of the vaccination of minors is one of the main grievances expressed during the weekly demonstrations against the health pass. In this context, the government accepted some concessions for minors. Unlike unvaccinated adults, they will all be able to continue to routinely benefit from free PCR tests after October 15.
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The vaccination of minors remains, in any case, the subject of scientific debate, in view of the very low risk of developing a serious form of Covid-19 in this age group. The major interest is therefore collective.
By vaccinating, young people “Help curb the spread of the virus in the community and limit congestion in hospitals”, explains epidemiologist Antoine Flahault, however also evoking their individual risk, if they contract the disease, of developing a “long Covid”.