While the fear associated with the coronavirus epidemic seems to be disappearing from the minds of French people, some doctors are concerned about the extremely low proportion of vaccinated children in light of the start of the school year in September.
For several weeks now, it has become difficult for a majority of French people to keep in mind that Covid-19 remains relevant. Between the lifting of the last significant restrictions and the return of the summer, the epidemic actually seems to be behind us more than ever. But several scientists are already fearing a violent backlash in the coming months, and especially in the weeks following the start of the school year in September.
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In this perspective, one figure is particularly worrying: the number of vaccinated children between the ages of 5 and 11. “It is true that for some weeks we have been insisting a great deal on the importance of maintaining a high level of vaccine protection for the most vulnerable populations. But we talk very little about children,” said Yves Buisson, an epidemiologist. In a country like France, which is historically more vigilant against vaccination than its western neighbors, this results in one of the lowest vaccination coverage rates among 5-11-year-olds.
France at the back of the herd
According to the latest official data, only 5.2% of French children in this age group are currently vaccinated. This is less than the UK (7%), Switzerland (8.4%); but above all much less than Germany (22.2%), Belgium (33.3%), the United States (35.5%), Italy (38.1%) … Not to mention Spain or Canada, which have managed to have more than one in two children vaccinated.
% of children aged 5-11 years who received at least 1 dose of vaccine \ ud83d \ udc47#Covid
• \ ud83c \ uddeb \ ud83c \ uddf7France: 5.2%
• \ ud83c \ udff4 ?????? England: 7%
• \ ud83c \ udde8 \ ud83c \ uddedSwitzerland: 8.4%
• \ ud83c \ udde9 \ ud83c \ uddeaGermany: 22.2%
• \ ud83c \ udde7 \ ud83c \ uddeaBelgium: 33.3%
• \ ud83c \ uddfa \ ud83c \ uddf8USA: 35.5%
• \ ud83c \ uddee \ ud83c \ uddf9Italy: 38.1%
• \ ud83c \ uddf5 \ ud83c \ uddf9Portugal: 48.4%
• \ ud83c \ uddea \ ud83c \ uddf8Spain: 54.5%
• \ ud83c \ udde8 \ ud83c \ udde6Canada: 56.5%
– Nicolas Berrod (@nicolasberrod) May 29, 2022
“We should actually be more concerned about that,” stresses the president of the Covid cell at the Academy of Medicine. “Indeed, we may fear that from the next school start we will have to face, if not a new wave, in any case an increase in the number of cases of infection. With the ‘eternal problem of class closures that it can lead to just as well take the lead in vaccinating children, believes Yves Buisson.Especially since we know that it is through them that the circulation of the virus often starts again, as for influenza, and that vaccination in children has only benefits. In any case, it has almost no disadvantages. “
It always took
For the epidemiologist “it is always interesting to push vaccination, especially in this age group between 5 and 11 years, where no significant side effects have been observed compared to other vaccines”. Although France has a large gap to compensate for the fact that vaccination has a real impact on the collective immunity among the youngest, even more so with the high transfer rate caused by Omicron.
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“In order for us to no longer have to worry about infection among the youngest, we should have more than 90% vaccination among this population,” the professor estimates. Characters who seem completely illusory today, but who should not block it all. “It is true that the new variants that have taken hold mean that vaccines mainly avoid serious forms and are less effective at transmission. Nevertheless, if a community is adequately vaccinated, the virus circulates much less than if it does not. it is not at all, necessarily “.