Covid-19, what you need to know this week: mid-March objective

Thanks to the drop in hospitalizations, an easing of restrictions could be envisaged next month.


There are reasons to celebrate this week. The indicators of the epidemic are pointing downwards offering the hospital a hope of resuming a normal walk. The easing of health constraints is expected for mid-March with the end of “all or part” from vaccination pass according to the Minister of Health Olivier Véran. A lifting which, however, could be temporary as the epidemic can still have surprises in store for us. But the last hesitant to vaccination will have the opportunity to take the plunge with the upcoming arrival of the vaccine of Novavax based on conventional technology. Maybe they’ll want to wait until Sanofi’s vaccine is finally on track.

This letter takes a vacation and gives you an appointment on March 10.

Good reading,

Camille Lestienne, journalist at Figaro.

1. Declining hospitalizations

Indicators of the Covid epidemic down. Infographic Le Figaro

Indicators in the green. Finally the pressure is released on the care system. Fewer than 3,000 people with Covid are now hospitalized in intensive care. All the indicators are turning green, giving hope that the restrictions will soon be lifted. Despite this and in the long term, the dynamic is “very difficult to predict until we get back to very low levels. Especially since, until now, the different waves have certainly been dictated by the seasonality of the virus but also by the appearance of new variants”, judges epidemiologist Mircea Sofonea. Omicron is less dangerous, as confirmed by a large study conducted in the United Kingdom, and that’s good. Because according to the first data collected in France, the cases of reinfection have exploded. More than 400,000 French people have been infected twice with the virus.

The figures to remember in France

  • 2753 patients in critical care (-89 since the day before)
  • 26.881 hospitalized patients (-685 since the day before)
  • 66.833 new cases detected (compared to 98,235 a week ago)
  • 213 deaths in 24 hours in hospital (137,489 dead since the start of the epidemic in hospitals and nursing homes)

Source: Public Health France as of February 23

2. Next lifting of the vaccination pass

“All or part” of the vaccine pass could be suspended from mid-March. ERIC GAILLARD / REUTERS

Half-March. It is therefore in mid-March that a reduction in health constraints could intervene, estimated the Minister of Health, guest of the Grand Jury RTL-Le Figaro-LCI last Sunday. This if the hospital returns to normal operation with less than 1,500 people in critical care. Wearing a mask indoors and “all or part» of the vaccination pass may therefore no longer be compulsory in certain places from this date. On Wednesday, despite an additional week of tolerance, 3.5 million people had to lose their vaccine pass for not having taken their booster dose in time, perhaps betting on its next deletion.

Vaccination figures

  • 54.2 million people received a first dose (80.3% of the population).
  • 53.2 million of French people have a complete vaccination schedule (78.8% of the population).
  • 38.7 million booster doses administered.

Source: Ministry of Health as of February 23

Could the vaccination pass be temporarily lifted, as Professor Gilles Pialoux mentioned? “From July 31, the Prime Minister is no longer authorized to activate the pass“says the Figaro the professor of public law at the University of Grenoble Alpes, Serge Slama but “in all likelihood, after the legislative elections“, a health law “will include in the public health code long-term provisions for the fight against health crises with certainly the possibility of health pass-type devices“. In Europe, the reductions are more or less rapid. In the UK, Boris Johnson wants to pass “from legal constraints to individual responsibility” while Scandinavian countries lifted their restrictions almost all at the same time.

3. Two new vaccines

The first deliveries of the Novavax vaccine are expected at the end of the week. Dado Ruvic / REUTERS

Janssen leaves. Vaccination with Janssen will be suspended, the government announced on Tuesday. In a notice published on Monday, the Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS) pointed out that vaccination with Janssen resulted in “a slight increase in the risk of myocardial infarction within two weeks of» injection in adults under 75 years of age. A temporary conclusion that still needs to be confirmed at European level. Only a few special cases of people with a contraindication to messenger RNA vaccines could still receive a dose of Janssen.

Novavax is coming. On the other hand, good news, the first deliveries of the Novavax vaccine, called Nuvaxovid, are expected “at the end of the week“, said Monday at Figaro the General Directorate of Health (DGS). Vaccination would begin the first week of March. Will this new serum convince those who are hesitant about vaccination? Based on a classic technology based on recombinant protein already used in vaccines against whooping cough or hepatitis B, it will be offered to all adults over 18 years of age.

Sanofi is late. Almost a year late, Sanofi announces positive results for its vaccine developed with GSK and is preparing to seek authorization from the European Union and the United States. Also designed on the basis of a recombinant protein, this new vaccine is effectivecomparableto that of vaccines already available, according to the pharmaceutical giant.

4. Passes and Masks

Vaccination pass. Since January 24, the vaccination pass is required for people over 16 to go to places of leisure, restaurants and drinking establishments (with the exception of collective catering), fairs, seminars and trade shows. and inter-regional public transport (planes, trains, coaches) unless there is a compelling reason. The health pass remains valid for minors aged 12 to 15 and for access to health establishments and medico-social services. The vaccination pass is activated by proof of complete vaccination or a certificate of recovery stored in the TousAntiCovid application or in paper format.

Wearing a mask is compulsory in closed places subject to the vaccination pass. It is no longer imposed on the outside. The mask is still compulsory in primary schools both outside and inside. Since February 9, it is no longer required in chairlifts and ski lifts but still required in gondolas and queues. From February 28, it will no longer be compulsory in places subject to the vaccination pass, except for transport.

A certificate to travel. Since July 1, 2021, Europeans can travel more easily within the continent thanks to certified proof of vaccination or negative tests gathered in a single document. In digital or paper format. Please note, however, that each country may continue to apply specific rules.

5. The 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 single-use tissues
  • Wear a mask in public spaces 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 kissing

6. What to do in case of symptoms?

The disease is most often manifested by cough, fever or feeling feverish, loss of smell and taste, fatigue. If after a few days, you have trouble breathing or are out of breath, you should contact 15. The symptoms would be lighter with the Omicron variant, similar to those of a cold: sore throat, headache, runny nasal.

In case of signs of the disease, the most important thing is to get tested. The test, PCR or antigen, remains free for non-vaccinated people on medical prescription or after having been identified as a contact case by Health Insurance. In the event of a positive result on a self-test, a confirmation PCR test is recommended. While waiting for the result, you must isolate yourself, wear a mask and prepare the list of people you could have infected. If the test is positive, isolation must last 7 days from the first symptoms for vaccinated persons, 10 days for unvaccinated people. It can be broken on D+5 or D+7 respectively, if you have a negative test and you have had no symptoms for 48 hours.



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