Covid-19, what to know this week: third dose at forced march

Emmanuel Macron announced the conditioning of the health pass to the booster dose of the vaccine against the Covid for those over 65 years old.


It was last night ninth speech in twenty months of Emmanuel Macron. Faced with the rebound of the epidemic, today no containment or curfew but a redoubled effort on the booster dose. While the effectiveness of vaccines drops sharply after five to six months, the government will condition from December 15 the health pass to the third dose for over 65s. In Europe, the onset of winter seems to wake up the virus which is circulating all the more so as barrier gestures are gradually being forgotten. Other countries are taking action, such as Denmark resolved to reinstate the health pass after two months without any restrictions. The United States is reopening its doors to vaccinated Europeans. Are expats coming back?

Good reading,

Camille Lestienne, journalist at Figaro.

1. No pass without third dose for seniors

Emmanuel Macron wants to speed up the pace of the third dose. CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT / AFP

Emmanuel Macron’s speech. While epidemic indicators are rising in France – but less than among our neighbors – the President of the Republic spoke to the French last night to take stock, among other things, of the health situation. First announcement and which was expected: the health pass for over 65s will be conditioned on a third dose of vaccine from December 15. The result was not long in coming: in just one hour (from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.), 100,000 appointments for a booster dose were taken on Doctolib. The health pass will be deactivated for this age group if the last injection is more than 6 months and 5 weeks old, said Gabriel Attal this morning. Second announcement: the gradual expansion of beneficiaries of the booster dose, first to 50-64 year olds from the beginning of December. Children aged 5 to 11 are still not affected by vaccination. All, however, specified Jean-Michel Blanquer in the evening, will have to wear the mask to primary school from next Monday, regardless of the incidence rate in their department. In addition, controls in bars and sports halls will be stepped up.

Restrictions on Moderna. The government confirmed on Tuesday the suspension of the use of the Moderna vaccine for those under 30 years old following the recommendation issued the day before by the High Authority for Health (HAS). According to a large French study, the sera from Pfizer but especially from Moderna slightly increase the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis for this population. Consequently, Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine will be favored as a primary vaccination as well as a booster dose. For those over 30, HAS recommends that the Moderna vaccine, “whose vaccine efficacy seems slightly better, can be used as a primary vaccination course and for the administration of a booster dose in half-dose“.

The figures to remember in France

  • 51.4 million people received a first dose (76.3% of the population).
  • 50.3 million of French people have a complete vaccination schedule (74.6% of the population).

Source: Directorate General of Health as of November 9

To know about the health pass. The Constitutional Council validated the health pass on Tuesday until the summer – but censored access to the vaccination status of students. In addition, the self-tests supervised by a health professional are again integrated into the health pass. It is a decision of the Council of State which invalidated their exclusion. In addition, the health pass will be mandatory for ski lifts if the national incidence rate exceeds 200 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, Jean Castex announced on Saturday. Wearing a mask will in all cases be required from the queue.

2. Fifth wave or wavelet?

The virus is gaining ground in Europe. KACPER PEMPEL / REUTERS

Rebound. While the indicators are on the rise, should we fear a fifth wave of the epidemic? Europe is the new epicenter of the epidemic with different situations, however, depending on the vaccination rate. The increase in cases is accompanied by an increase in mortality in countries with little vaccination, such as Russia or Romania. This is not the case in the west but be careful though, “Germany has good vaccination coverage, but still insufficient with elderly people particularly at risk of complications, hospitalization and death, warns epidemiologist Antoine Flahault. To explain this rebound in the epidemic, the abandonment of barrier gestures is in the sights. “The virus will take on the seasonality of the respiratory viruses, returning each winter due to the combination of several factors, including the weather”, estimates virologist Astrid Vabret, who points to the feeling of security induced by vaccination and the relaxation of vigilance, especially among seniors. Several clusters have thus arisen in tea dances or belote tournaments.

The figures to remember in France

  • 1140 patients in critical care (-1 since the day before)
  • 6851 hospitalized patients (-14 since the day before)
  • 12,476 new cases detected within 24 hours
  • 49 deaths in 24 hours in hospital (118,023 deaths since the start of the epidemic, including 91,126 in hospital)

Source: Public Health France as of November 9

3. And elsewhere?

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced the reintroduction of the compulsory health pass in Denmark. RITZAU SCANPIX / REUTERS

Europe. Our neighbors, also in the grip of a rebound in the epidemic, are tightening restrictions: in Germany, generalization of the third dose for all, in the Netherlands, extension of the health pass to museums and restaurant terraces, in Austria, compulsory vaccination in restaurants, hotels and places of culture. Latvia is under curfew for 4 weeks.

Denmark. After almost two months without restrictions, Denmark tightens the screw and reintroduces the compulsory health pass from the age of 15 for bars, restaurants and nightclubs. On Monday, for the fifth day in a row, more than 2,000 new cases were reported in the Nordic kingdom of 5.8 million inhabitants, where 36 people are hospitalized in intensive care.

UK. The British government announced on Tuesday the introduction of the obligation to be vaccinated against Covid-19 for caregivers in the public health service in England (NHS) from April 1.

Israel. By relying fully on the third dose of Pfizer vaccine, the Hebrew state managed to stem the very strong fourth wave that hit the country this summer. The Israeli health authorities, on the other hand, are reluctant to initiate the vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 due to strong reluctance of public opinion.

4. Meet in New York

It’s reunion time at New York airport as vaccinated Europeans can finally make their way to the United States. EDUARDO MUNOZ / REUTERS

Cross the Atlantic. Finally, the United States reopened its borders to vaccinated travelers on November 8. It is the hope of a recovery for private airlines of transatlantic flights for a year and a half. “For Air France-KLM, these flights represent 40% of long-haul revenue”, Summarizes an Air France executive. For French expatriates across the Atlantic, it’s time to reunite. But will those who have been repatriated or discouraged by the red tape come back? If there was no hemorrhage, in New York, the French school would still have “lost” a hundred families spread over France, relates our correspondent Maurin Picard. And for travelers not eligible for the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA), travel to the United States is not for tomorrow. It takes almost ten months of waiting to obtain a tourist visa for people who have traveled to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen after March 1, 2011, or who have dual nationality ( Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria only).

5. Calendar, pass and masks

Health pass. The health pass is required to go to places of culture and leisure accommodating more than 50 people (cinema, theater, concerts, festivals, etc.). The same goes for restaurants, bars, indoors and outdoors, in trains, buses and planes, retirement homes and medical establishments. Places of worship are not affected. It is compulsory to go to shopping centers of more than 20,000 m², if the department’s incidence rate is greater than 200. Since September 30, young people aged 12 to 17 are also subject to it. As a reminder, the health pass is not a vaccination certificate. For it to be valid, you must either be fully vaccinated for a week, or present a negative PCR or antigen test of less than 72 hours or proof of cure (a positive test) of more than 11 days and less than 6 month. It is in the form of a QR code stored in the TousAntiCovid application or in paper format.

Wearing a mask is always compulsory in enclosed spaces and outdoors when distancing is not possible (markets, queues, station platforms, etc.). Some municipalities have this summer reimposed the mask outdoors in some very busy places. In cultural places where the health pass is required, it is not compulsory unless the manager of the establishment or the prefect decides otherwise. From November 15, it is again compulsory for children in primary schools located in all departments regardless of the incidence rate.

A certificate to travel. Since July 1, Europeans can travel more easily within the continent thanks to certified evidence of vaccination or negative tests brought together in a single document. In digital or paper format. Please note, however, that each country can continue to apply specific rules.

6. Reflexes to keep

The virus is transmitted by droplets and aerosols. The barrier gestures detailed by the Ministry of Health must be observed to protect themselves and others:

  • Wash your hands regularly or use hydroalcoholic gel
  • Cough or sneeze into the crease of your elbow
  • Use disposable tissues
  • Wear a mask in public areas when the distance of two meters cannot be respected
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Air the rooms as often as possible, at least a few minutes every hour
  • Greet without shaking hands and stop hugging

7. What to do in case of symptoms?

The disease manifests itself with several symptoms, most often cough and fever.

The most important thing is to get tested. According to the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, you should, in case of symptoms, stay at home and contact your doctor who will prescribe a test. While waiting for the result, you must isolate yourself, wear a mask and prepare a list of people you could have infected. If the test is positive, isolation should last 10 days from the first symptoms.

See you next week.


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