“10 million” French people will have received at least one dose of a vaccine against Covid-19 by mid-April: this is the bet that Olivier Véran made on the TF1 1 p.m. set on Monday. “Not only will we achieve this goal, but we will even anticipate it by a few days,” added the Minister of Health. A quantified objective which is based on the forecast of a ramp-up of the vaccination campaign in the coming weeks. But how will this acceleration materialize?
The opening of dozens of vaccinodromes
It will be based in particular on vaccinodromes, which will strengthen the arsenal of small vaccination centers already present throughout France.
The first of these vaccinodromes opened Tuesday at the Stade de France, in Saint-Denis, in Seine-Saint-Denis, one of the departments hardest hit by the Covid-19 epidemic. If it has the necessary doses, the structure will be able to carry out up to 10,000 injections per week, promised the Regional Health Agency of Ile-de-France.
The Stade de France will not be the only vaccination mega-center to open in April: “About forty vaccinodromes have opened or are about to be.” At the end of April, at the beginning of May, new ones will open ” , thus indicated the general direction of Health Tuesday.
These centers should administer 530,000 doses each week, according to the objectives of the Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin. Ultimately, the Ministry of Health has set a target of one to two mega-vaccination centers per department, or between 100 and 200 across the country.
However, with a goal for these vaccinodromes: that of not “siphoning off the doses” to the detriment of small vaccination centers, promises the DGS. “The strategy is that they complement local offers, depending on the wishes of the territories”, adds the Directorate General of Health.
New priority audiences
The range of French people eligible for vaccination will expand in April. In his speech on May 31, Emmanuel Macron said that all people over the age of 60 will be able to be vaccinated as of the 16th of the month, whether they have comorbidities or not. Before enlargement to all French people aged 50 or over on May 15.
In addition, certain professions, such as teachers, should also have the right to be vaccinated from mid-April. “In particular, it will start with those who take care of children with disabilities”, before “those who take care of kindergarten children, “Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer said on Sunday. Police and gendarmes should also be entitled to it.
The list of these new priority professions for vaccination must be validated interministerially. Specialized children professionals have also asked to be included. The question also arises for employees of essential businesses.
So many people who will not necessarily be vaccinated by doctors. The government recently allowed professions that could not before injecting doses into the French. Among them are nurses, dentists and veterinarians.
12 million doses and a new vaccine
To allow these professionals to inject anti-Covid vaccines but also to supply vaccine pods with doses, the Hexagon still has to have enough vaccines. The Ministry of the Economy expects deliveries of 12 million doses in April. In its forecasts, the Directorate General of Health confirmed this objective on Tuesday.
Thus, 3 million doses of AstraZeneca are expected this month, as well as 900,000 doses of Moderna and, above all, 7.7 million doses of the Pfizer / BioNtech vaccine.
These three vaccines will be joined in April by the product Janssen, from the American Johnson & Johnson. However, it will be discreet in the coming weeks since only 600,000 doses are expected in France this month. A delivery of 200,000 doses is scheduled for the week of April 19, and 350,000 that of the 26.
In addition, the announcement of delays in deliveries from Pfizer in the coming weeks “does not weaken the objective” of vaccination, believes the DGS, which explains that it is “not a delay, but a smoothing that will be caught on June 1 to fill the gap “.
Start of vaccine production in France
Among the other glimmers of hope: the start as of this Wednesday of vaccine production on French soil at the Delpharm site in Saint-Rémy-sur-Avre. The Eure-et-Loir plant will be responsible for producing doses of Pfizer’s product.
In mid-April, it will be the turn of the Swede Recipharm to produce doses of Moderna in its French factory in Monts, in Indre-et-Loire. Fareva is due to launch “at the end of May, beginning of June” the production of CureVac, still subject to the condition of marketing authorization, in its factories in Pau and Val-de-Reuil. Finally, the French Sanofi will produce for the Janssen vaccine from Johnson & Johnson in Marcy-l’Etoile, in the Rhône, probably at the beginning of the summer, according to Bercy.
These sites – and others that will likely see the light of day in the coming months – are expected to produce 250 million doses in 2021.
However, this production “origin France” will not immediately meet all the demand for vaccine doses for France. Especially since all the doses produced on the national territory will not be intended only for the French, but also for the other countries of the European Union.
More than 9.5 million vaccinated in France
However, the vaccination campaign could face in the coming weeks a new wave of mistrust vis-à-vis the AstraZeneca vaccine. An official from the European Medicines Agency confirmed on Tuesday a link between this anti-Covid vaccine and thrombosis. Stating that I do not yet know what is causing these blood clots.
Despite everything, this vaccine strategy will allow, according to the DGS, to have “a high vaccination plateau between April and May, before ramping up in June”.
To date, more than 9.52 million French people have received at least one dose of vaccine, and more than 3.42 million are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.