The essential France is preparing to turn a new page in its vaccination strategy. The milestone of 10 million people with at least one first injection will be passed this month. If new vacinodromes emerge, the country can count on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine too.
This is a milestone to be exceeded in France this month: the country’s health authorities have set a target of at least 10 million first injections by mid-April: “We will maintain this target,” the Ministry of Health assured on Tuesday. In the long term, health authorities intend to pass the milestone of 20 million vaccine injections by mid-May. In short, one month’s time will be about what healthcare professionals achieved in three and a half months. Dizzying.
The need to step up the vaccination campaign against Covid-19 in France is therefore very real. The health authorities want to rely on the new injection giants: Vaccinodrome. The largest vaccination center in the country opened yesterday in the Stade de France. According to the Ile-de-France Regional Health Authority, the website allows no less than 10,000 injections per week with only Pfizer / BioNtech and Moderna vaccines intended for people over the age of 70.
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More locally, the Toulouse vaccine module also wants to work particularly hard. As of today, the site will open its doors 7 days a week. France will have forty locations that are expected to maintain this pace. However, the Ministry of Health does not intend to bet everything on these “colossi”: “We must not believe that the French strategy is based solely on large-capacity vaccination centers that would replace a local offer.”
A bet remains on vaccination in town, carried out by AstraZeneca: in France, almost 100,000 injections of this vaccine are given every day by health professionals. The ministry describes a “sustained rhythm” but it has been undermined by suspected thrombosis cases: the link between the vaccine and this pathology is still being investigated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the institution said on Tuesday. However, if in the field the rhythm of vaccination with AstraZeneca is inextricably linked with deliveries, it also depends heavily on the trust that is placed in the vaccine.
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And since the vaccination campaign began in France, the Anglo-Swedish vaccine has been playing yo-yo: between March 6 and March 13, almost 52% of injections in the country were made with AstraZeneca. This now only weighs almost 28% of the injections performed in the country, as shown in the graphic below (if no graphic is visible, please deactivate your ad blocker).
Reader’s note: There were 886,834 injections of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine between Monday March 29th and Sunday April 4th. Vaccination with AstraZeneca was temporarily suspended in France between March 15 and 19.
The imminent arrival of Johnson & Johnson
However, this is not enough to undermine the confidence of the French in AstraZeneca, the authorities said: “We cannot speak of suspicion, as there is a desire in urban medicine to have more and more doses for vaccinating people who are on the AstraZeneca are waiting list, ”says the Ministry of Health, which, however, admits some difficulties in disposing of the cans of the Anglo-Swedish master in Hauts-de-France last weekend.
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Last resort: the upcoming arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is slated for April 19th. This newcomer to the vaccination landscape should kick in smoothly: only 200,000 doses, mostly distributed in overseas territories, are delivered within ten days. Before a possible start-up.