Does the lull of this end of summer mark the end of the Covid-19 epidemic in France? No specialist dares to respond to this response as the virus has had (unpleasant) surprises in store for us in the past, but all the indicators are indeed green. The incidence has dropped below 9,000 cases per day, and the pressure on the hospital system is decreasing day by day. About a hundred patients are admitted daily in critical care, when they were almost double at the end of August. The decrease is homogeneous throughout the territory, even if the situation remains very complicated in the overseas departments.
“We do not yet know how
the Delta variant
with the arrival of autumn,
notes however Mircea Sofonea, lecturer in epidemiology and evolution of infectious diseases at the University of Montpellier.
It spread in the summer in the northern hemisphere, when the weather conditions are more favorable.
Will it be more virulent?
Or will the current trend continue?
The point is that we will approach this crucial period quite comfortably thanks to the current lull. ”
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Continue the vaccination effort
The success of the vaccination campaign, with more than 80% of French people over 12 years fully vaccinated, explains this improvement. Vaccines are certainly not 100% effective against contagions, but even losing some of their protection over the months, they still play a major role in slowing the circulation of the virus, in addition to continuing to protect against serious forms. of disease. But in the opinion of all specialists, vaccines alone are not enough. However, the CoviPrev survey, which measures the acceptance of the French to preventive measures, marks a clear decline in all barrier gestures. Only 58% of respondents say they greet without shaking hands and avoid hugs.
“It is still premature to consider lifting barrier gestures,
warns Bruno Coignard, epidemiologist at Public Health France.
The sanitary pass and the wearing of a mask remain essential. They can only be lifted on the basis of the usual indicators, when the virus is sufficiently low. "
The next few months are difficult to predict by mathematical models. The incidence rate is falling in all age groups, but it is not excluded that it goes up in those under 12, the only unvaccinated ones. It is also high among young adults and those under 18, which for the experts of Public Health France calls for the greatest vigilance at the start of the school year.
"We know that the impact of schools can take several weeks before being visible, because children develop few serious forms and it is necessary to wait for the second or even third cycles of contamination in adults to see an effect on the curves,
explains Mircea Sofonea.
To guard against this, it is therefore necessary to randomly test the youngest in large numbers to monitor the appearance of clusters. ”
Another imperative is to continue the vaccination effort, still 770,000 people over the age of 75 have not received any dose of vaccine, and are therefore vulnerable to the virus.
"For the moment, the vaccines maintain their effectiveness over time,"
analyzes the Montpellier epidemiologist.
It is not known how long this will last and it is not known how the immune system will react in the long term to Sars-CoV-2. It is possible that the virus becomes endemic and does not require a vaccination booster, but there is nothing to ensure it. The urgent need is to protect as many people as possible, to prevent a possible fall wave from clogging up our healthcare system. ”