Published on : 09/23/2022 – 09:32
The various indicators of the coronavirus epidemic are all on the rise again, and they seem to herald a new wave, the eighth. For the moment, the response of the public authorities remains unchanged: it is the vaccination of the most fragile that will limit its impact.
Rising incidence rate, and above all reproduction rate greater than 1: the dynamics of the Covid-19 epidemic in France are on a upward slope. Are we witnessing the start of a new wave? In general discourse, “the epidemic is behind us”. Joe Biden and even Dr. Tedros, the boss of the WHO, held a speech to this effect earlier this week. In France, however, we are again approaching 30,000 contaminations detected per day, hospital indicators are starting to rise again and there are still around thirty daily deaths.
The scenario therefore seems to repeat itself, wave after wave. It does not worry Frédéric Adnet, but the head of the emergency department at the Avicenne hospital in Bobigny remains cautious: “ We are so used to the Covid waves that we know what threatens us. Our only concern is whether we have the capacity to hospitalize a surplus of patients. We are already struggling to hospitalize them today, since 30% of our beds are closed. »
No prevention measures
However, despite the indicators that have gone back into the red, no preventive measure is currently on the agenda. Children are, for example, one of the main drivers of the current epidemic rebound. Emmanuel Macron had however announced last April that a special effort would be made on the ventilation of classrooms to prevent the start of the school year, but nothing has been done.
Barrier gestures, such as wearing a mask in transport, are no longer compulsory, but only recommended. “ In these places with very high densities, such as public transport, they should be compulsory “, believes Frédéric Adnet. ” Certainly, all these measures will not prevent the spread of the virus. But they will slow it down. We must therefore really target the people at risk who cause all the mortality and morbidity of these waves. “.
New generation vaccines
The High Authority for Health (HAS) has just issued an opinion in which it updates its recommendations on vaccinations, by integrating new bivalent products. Intended for people aged over 60, those at risk of developing a serious form, as well as those around them; it is an updated version of the vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna targeting both the original strain of Sars-CoV-2 and sublines of the Omicron variant. The HAS therefore recommends using them to carry out the second booster doses.
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However, they are sometimes criticized because, being only an evolution of previous vaccines, they have not been the target of large-scale clinical trials. “Admittedly, we have no data on the clinical efficacy of these vaccines, but we have some on the immunological efficacy “, explains Jean-Daniel Lelièvre, the head of the clinical immunology and infectious diseases department at the Henri Mondor hospital in Créteil. ” Against new variants, this efficacy seems superior to monovalent vaccines. Ultimately, these are the vaccines that will have to be used to replace the oldest vaccines. But for people who have not yet been able to benefit from a second booster dose and who would be a long way from their last dose, it is essential not to wait for these new vaccines. It is necessary to make a reminder with those currently available. »
The strategy adopted in France is therefore identical to that of the last waves. The authorities rely on the responsibility of the French for the adoption of barrier gestures and intend to protect people at risk through vaccination and updated reminders. It is thus a question of avoiding the congestion of hospitals without necessarily controlling the rate of infections. Vaccines are indeed moderately effective in preventing contamination, but still remain very effective in preventing serious forms.