The wearing of the mask will remain dependent on the good will of the people.
Despite an epidemic outbreak, with three viruses raging at the same time this winter (Covid-influenza-bronchiolitis), the Covars did not come out for or against an obligation to wear a mask in closed places.
On the other hand, he recommends to “amplify as quickly as possible” barrier gestures and vaccination, in an opinion published on Monday.
Faced with "an active resumption of circulation of SARS-COV2, an epidemic threshold crossing of influenza and an intense and early epidemic of bronchiolitis, as well as in anticipation of the next end-of-year holidays, a source of significant intergenerational mixing », the Committee for monitoring and anticipating health risks, successor to the Scientific Council, issues new recommendations.
Arguments in favor of the mask
On the mask, the committee observes the “very low level of wearing a mask in public transport and other closed places” and specifies that “the benefit” of a general wearing in such places “would relate to the three current epidemics “, in its new opinion submitted to the Ministry of Health and Prevention.
The Covars, chaired by the immunologist Brigitte Autran, does not decide for or against the obligation to wear a mask, but lists the arguments in favor of an obligation ("low efficiency of the recommendation messages maintained", etc.) and in disfavor ("perception of the limitation of individual freedoms").
In the "new elements to help public decision-making on wearing a mask", he points to the "critical situation of the hospital", the loss of effectiveness of preventive treatments for certain immunocompromised people, the low levels of vaccination against Covid and influenza in often identical risk populations.
Obligation or not, the committee recommends “reinforcing the accessibility/free availability of masks in all places where they are needed”, “limiting their cost and ensuring their distribution to all people wishing to use it.
For vaccination, the Covars calls for it to be “intensified” against Covid and the flu, with “incentive and transparent communication intended for the general population”, “reinforced communication intended for caregivers on the benefits and limits of vaccination reminders”, strong and rapid actions towards certain populations, or even the reopening of specific centres.
our file on anti-covid vaccination
If it has rebounded in recent weeks, the fall anti-Covid vaccination remains behind, reflecting “the difficulties, for the population and certain health professionals, in understanding the objectives of these repeated reminders”.
However, several recent data “confirm the benefit of the 2nd and 3rd reminders in real life against symptomatic and severe forms of COVID-19”, underlines the opinion.
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