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Covid-19: six questions on the vaccination campaign, which begins Sunday in France Article written by

 Covid-19: six questions on the vaccination campaign, which begins Sunday in France Article written by

Covid-19: six questions on the vaccination campaign, which begins Sunday in France Article written by
About a million people are affected by the first phase of vaccination in France.  (JEAN-BAPTISTE PREMAT / HANS LUCAS / AFP)

The first Ehpad concerned are not yet known. Only a handful of residents will begin to be vaccinated at the end of the year.

"Great news." While the year 2020 ends on a disturbing note, with the appearance of a new variant of the coronavirus and the resurgence of contaminations in certain regions in France, the launch of the vaccination campaign, Sunday, December 27, was welcomed. by authorities and health professionals.

Tuesday, December 22, a full- scale logistical test of the delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to nursing homes and hospitals was carried out from the Chanteloup-en-Brie (Seine-et-Marne) platform, in the presence of Olivier Véran , the Minister of Health. How will this first phase unfold? Which audience is specifically affected? How will this deployment of the vaccine be controlled? Franceinfo answers six questions on this important step in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic .

1 Should we wait for the opinion of the Haute Autorité de santé?

Yes. The High Authority for Health (HAS) must give its opinion, a necessary step before the first vaccinations. She could decide  "in the next few hours or days, probably by December 26, maybe a little before" , said the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, during his visit  to Chanteloup-en-Brie (Seine et Marne). This notice will be given "either on the 23rd or on the 24th" of December, the Ministry of Health told AFP earlier.

Also requested, the National Consultative Ethics Council (CCNE) has already given its opinion on Monday. In particular, it calls for "to be vigilant in the process of collecting consent for vaccination from vulnerable people" , to "take into account the diversity of points of view on vaccination" and "to constantly review" the decisions taken ". in view of new knowledge " .

In addition, "meetings to prepare for the launch of the vaccine campaign will be held all week before a European launch scheduled for Sunday," said government spokesman Gabriel Attal at the exit of the Council of Ministers on Monday. France must coordinate with its European neighbors, after the green light from the European Commission . 

2 How will the delivery of the first vaccines be secured? 

A full-scale logistical test of the delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to nursing homes and hospitals was carried out on Tuesday morning from the Chanteloup-en-Brie (Seine-et-Marne) platform, in the presence of Olivier Véran. "In these freezers, in a few days, the first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will arrive. They will be stored at -80 ° C, then thawed in a secure cold room before being able to be distributed in the centers where they will be pretreated, before , finally, to be sent to the various establishments ", explained the Minister of Health during a press point.

This delivery of vaccines will be carried out under high security . Carriers, bound by a confidentiality clause, may only be allowed to stop on motorway rest areas for a few minutes, the time to check the temperature of their very sensitive cargo.

The vaccines will then be distributed to around 100 storage sites in secret locations, and placed under close surveillance, before being distributed among health professionals.

Precautions that can be explained by several threats. "The vaccine is the liquid gold of 2021. It is the most precious thing to distribute in the coming year. The mafia and other criminal organizations are already prepared," warned Interpol. The authorities also fear malicious acts, actions by "anti-vaccine" activists or even terrorist attacks against sites or convoys.  

3 What will be the first sites affected by vaccination?

On Sunday, the first vaccines will be administered in the first two nursing homes, according to information from France Televisions. But the places in question have not yet been arrested. 

After the Council of Ministers, Gabriel Attal had confirmed that the vaccination campaign would begin with retirement homes, for staff and residents. "It will be a very gradual start" , previously clarified Olivier Véran on Europe 1. "We are not rushing (...), it is a vaccination which takes the time to ensure that the conditions are met so that trust be there, ” he insisted.

4 How many people does this represent?

A handful of people will be vaccinated on Sunday, France Televisions learned from Matignon. A figure which should reach a few hundred people by the end of the year. "The real cruising regime for a real global vaccination campaign on the 7,000 nursing homes, it is of course in January that it is necessary to envisage it" , had indicated to franceinfo Florence Arnaiz-Maumé, general delegate of Synerpa, the union national institutions and private residences for the elderly.

About a million people are affected by this first phase , " which corresponds to the quantities of vaccines that will be delivered to us during the first month" , Prime Minister Jean Castex had specified when presenting the vaccination schedule.

5 How will patient consent be obtained?

This is one of the trickier things. The vaccine is not mandatory and residents must be volunteers. "We made the choice in France to take the consent of vaccinated people (...) and to do a preliminary medical examination,"  Olivier Véran recalled on Tuesday.

" We have a process of supporting residents and families to set up to obtain their consent", detailed Florence Arnaiz-Maumé, of Synerpa, to franceinfo . Sometimes, nursing home patients are not able to give their consent. "" The trusted person in the families does not necessarily agree with the other members of the family, it will be a real challenge ", observes on franceinfo Jérôme Marty, president of the French union for free medicine .

For Romain Gizolme, director of AD-PA, the Association of Directors at the Service of the Elderly , "there is a gray area for a certain number of elderly people". Some, "in a fragile situation", do not have a legal representative. "We will have to spend a lot of time with these people to get their opinions and make sure it is well informed," he notes on franceinfo .    

6 How will the effects of these first vaccines be monitored? 

The "classic procedure" of pharmacovigilance will be "very strengthened" , assures on franceinfo the president of the association of regional pharmacovigilance centers (CRPV), Doctor Annie-Pierre Jonville-Béra. The regional pharmacovigilance centers will aim to "identify the very rare effects which, due to their rarity, could not be detected in the early stages of development, in order to quickly transmit them to the Medicines Safety Agency. (ANSM) " , she explains.

"There will be a permanent link between the pharmacovigilance centers and these pilot nursing homes so that doctors can report in real time all the effects or suspicions of adverse effects that they think are related to the vaccine, with serious effects in priority. " , adds  Annie-Pierre Jonville-Béra . 

Patients who can, their families, and healthcare professionals vaccinated can also report on the portal for reporting adverse reactions . 

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