Reminder shot One month after the start of the flu vaccination campaign, almost 20% fewer doses have been administered compared to the same period last year.
Vaccination against Covid-19 and seasonal flu for residents in nursing homes. — ROMUALD MEIGNEUX/SIPA
- This year, while hospitals are already confronted with Covid-19 and bronchiolitis, the French are getting less vaccinated against the flu, while the virus promises to be particularly “virulent”.
- La last week was marked by an “increase in all flu indicators”, according to the French public health agency, and pharmacists and caregivers alike are worried knowing that the vaccine takes “three weeks to be fully effective”.
- Three factors explain this poor vaccination rate, according to Pierre-Olivier Variot, the president of the Union of Community Pharmacy Unions: vaccine fatigue, the mild weather in the fall and the latency between the sending of slips to people at risk and the effective start of vaccination.
Pharmacists are worried, caregivers are worried. “The data shows a very significant delay in influenza vaccination,” of the Uspo (Union of Dispensary Pharmacy Unions), which fears a “particularly intense” this winter. Which wouldn’t at all help the situation in hospitals. also confronted with the constant pressure of Covid-19 and to a large outbreak of bronchiolitis. Why are the French shunning the flu vaccine this year? 20 Minutes takes stock.
Where is the flu vaccination?
The vaccination campaign has started; October 18. As of November 18, just over seven million doses had been received. distributed, compared to 8.6 million last year during the same period. That is 18.3% less, according to data collected from 14,000 of the 20,000 French pharmacies and published by the company. IQVIA, specialist in health data, on its opendata platform. “More than 1.5 million unadministered doses, it’s a huge backlog that needs to be caught up with immediately before it's too late,” notes Pierre-Olivier Variot, the president of Uspo. Because, he recalls, the vaccine takes “three weeks to be fully effective”. However, the flu epidemic has already put a foot in the door, ready to invade all of France, as detailed in this article:
La grippe se profile en France, dans un contexte déjà difficile https://t.co/jtKLzgCi2Y
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The flu will be there! earlier this year, but above all stronger. The flu will be “virulent”, warned the Minister of Health, François Braun, invited Grand Jury Sunday LCI-RTL-Le Figaro. “With the Covid-19 epidemic, lockdowns and mask-wearing, there was no epidemic for two years. Our immunity is therefore very weak against this virus”, details Pierre-Olivier Variot.
Why are the French vaccinated less this year?
Admittedly, 40% of French people are suspicious of vaccines, which makes us world champions in this field. But regarding this particular flu campaign, Pierre-Olivier Variot observes three factors unfortunately combined to explain the drop in vaccination. First of all, a certain “weariness” facing the vaccination. Those over 60 and the most fragile are called upon to to be vaccinated twice this year: the flu and a second anti-Covid booster dose. And there’s only exist. to date no combined vaccine against both viruses.
The weather also had a lot to do with it. Needless to say that the month of October 2022 was the hottest ever recorded. Now, “when it's sunny, people don’t think twice. go and get vaccinated,” notes Pierre-Olivier Variot. Finally, notes the pharmacist, too much time passes between the receipt of the vaccination slips by the priority groups and the moment when the vaccination slips are received. they can get vaccinated: “They have been vaccinated; sent early or mid-September. However, we’ve only started campaign until October 18. In the meantime, they had been put away and forgotten.” Pierre-Olivier Variot therefore pleads for an earlier start of vaccination.
How to speed up the vaccination campaign?
If all health professionals are agitating around this question of vaccination against the flu, it is because this virus affects between two and eight million people each year in France and kills between 10,000 and 15,000 people. François Braun ensured that the health system “will be able to withstand the arrival of the flu if everyone does their part (and) if the most vulnerable people get vaccinated”.”
our flu file< p>The only solution for Pierre-Olivier Variot is that “the authorities set up a major communication campaign” to the image of what has been made for Covid-19. Especially since in addition to the overload of hospitals, the flu epidemic could aggravate the shortage of antibiotics, fears Pierre-Olivier Variot, “some doctors prescribing antibiotics antibiotics in case of infection, without knowing if it is a virus or a bacterium.”