The vaccination campaign will not be enough on its own to stem the Covid-19 epidemic, because of the risk of resistant variants or the shortcomings of this campaign, said epidemiologist Antoine Flahault to the
Journal du dimanche
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Asked by the weekly on the choice of "
betting everything on the vaccine to get out of the crisis
", the director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of Geneva replied: "
It seems to me a risky bet.
He sees three hypotheses that could limit the effectiveness of this strategy: “
If new variants emerge and jeopardize the effectiveness of vaccines;
if the delivery is not at the desired pace;
if the problems encountered by the AstraZeneca vaccine arose with other vaccines and called into question the support of the population
The vaccine from the Swedish-British laboratory has caused rare but serious cases of thrombosis which have fueled a certain suspicion of the population.
In France, this vaccine is only offered to people over 55, in whom no cases have been observed.
Prof. Flahault says he is in favor of “
minimal circulation of the virus
”, praising the “
” of the most stringent countries in containment, testing and tracing measures, such as Finland and Norway in Europe.
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We need to get out of 'living with' to move towards a virus removal strategy.
The major risk, with the current strategy, is to return to this high plateau which has rotten the lives of the French since December, above 10,000 to 15,000 cases per day,
”explained the epidemiologist.
He is therefore in favor of a prolonged closure of schools.
Stopping adult activities is important, but another big breeding ground is that of schools (...) If the contaminations come back down in France, it will be necessary to maintain the effort beyond the spring holidays
", he said. -he thinks.
Read also: Antoine Flahault: "Closing schools for two weeks can have a very big impact"
We have not yet broken the curve at the national level
", noted Professor Flahault, for whom the objective should be to go down to a reproduction rate of the virus of 0.7.
In three weeks at such a rate, we would go from 40,000 to 5,000 new cases every day.
An almost complete takeover of the epidemic,
The situation remains contrasted in the region.
In Hauts-de-France and Île-de-France, it seems that we are going through a peak, with a reproduction rate of the virus, R, close to 1. But we have seen in the past that there may be a plateau, then the circulation goes up ...
", added the epidemiologist.
Public Health France has identified an average of over 30,000 daily cases over the past week.