Covid-19: “We will not get by only with vaccines”

The cross : Last week, WHO boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that“No country will be able to get out of the pandemic with booster doses”. Should we first vaccinate the entire planet, to avoid the emergence of variants, rather than carrying out multiple booster shots in the wealthiest countries?

John Johnson: Vaccination is clearly the most important tool in the fight against the pandemic. But we will not get away with vaccines alone. We will have to learn to live in the long term with masks, barrier gestures, periods of quarantine. Because the vaccine, as we know, does not prevent the transmission of the virus. We see it in particular in highly vaccinated countries, such as Spain or Portugal. Above all, it protects and prevents the proliferation of serious cases. It is a preventive tool, but it does not prevent the circulation of the virus or its mutations.

→ EXPLANATION. Covid-19: how the Omicron variant weakens the vaccine strategy

As long as we do not succeed in speeding up the overall vaccination plan, and therefore in slowing down transmission, do we not risk facing multiple variants and incessant waves?

NOT A WORD : A pandemic, by nature, is heterogeneous. In many countries where our NGO operates, Covid is absolutely not the priority. Take the case of Niger: to date there have been fewer than 10,000 cases and around 200 deaths. This can be explained by several factors: a very young population, which works and lives a lot outside, little confined… Therefore, we cannot say that it is absolutely necessary to administer a first dose to everyone in Niger before starting. perform a third dose for a septuagenarian in a European country. The vaccination strategy cannot be comprehensive; it must adapt to the context, the population and the means available to each country.

→ EXPLANATION. Telework, vaccination pass, booster dose … New measures to contain Omicron

The Omicron variant was first spotted in South Africa, a country where less than a third of the population has received at least a first dose. Doesn’t this example plead in favor of the “all-vaccine”?

NOT A WORD : This does not necessarily mean that Omicron emerged in South Africa. Other variants had been identified previously in Brazil, United Kingdom, India. Vaccination does affect the rate of transmission, but it does not completely block it. This is why, from our point of view, it is advisable to target countries at risk, with large and very dense agglomerations, where the virus circulates a lot.

→ READ. Covid-19: European vaccine donations do not always find a taker

Are the countries of the North showing sufficient solidarity with those of the South?

NOT A WORD : We must work for a more equitable distribution of doses, but the delay in immunization in some developing countries is not only attributable to a form of selfishness in rich countries. The United States has donated over 1 billion doses to date! It is not just a problem of vaccine distribution or availability. It is also necessary to assess whether the fight against Covid is indeed the priority of local authorities in terms of public health.

What means do we have to hope to defeat Covid-19?

NOT A WORD : Paradoxically, the more the overall coverage rate increases, the more the variants that will emerge tomorrow will be contagious: they will be those that may have been transmitted despite the vaccines. We must also rely on acquired immunity. All of this will take time. At the end of the First World War, the Spanish influenza pandemic lasted two years, before gradually easing. This scenario should recur with the Covid-19. We will learn to live with this virus, which over time will resemble a seasonal, almost commonplace form of flu. Our children will grow up with him.


Vaccination figures

First dose: 78.2% of French people have received at least one dose of the vaccine. In the past 24 hours, more than 32,000 people had received a first dose.

Second dose : 76.5% received two doses.

Booster dose : 30% received an additional booster dose.

In all, 600 to 700,000 doses are currently injected every day.

Among 5-11 year olds, the most recently eligible for vaccination, more than 20,000 have already received two doses. Among 12-17 year olds, more than 4 million have received two doses.

In older people, the proportion of unvaccinated people is low : 8% of those over 75 have received no dose and less than 5% of those aged 65-74.

France is the 5e most vaccinated country in first dose, as a percentage of its population, behind Chile, Spain, Italy and Uruguay.

Sources: VaccinTracker, as of December 23


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