Vaccination against Covid-19: the five articles to read, as the campaign begins this Sunday in France

Let’s go ! After China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, or more recently Switzerland, the vaccination campaign begins Sunday, December 27 in France, barely a year after the emergence of Covid-19. This unprecedented speed raises hope, but also feeds mistrust of vaccines.

The first bottles arrived on French soil on Saturday, after a trip under high security. Some residents of institutions for the elderly and their caregivers, designated priority public, will receive the first injections of the vaccine developed by the American Pfizer and the German BioNTech.

>> Covid-19: find all the information on the coronavirus epidemic in our direct

The vaccine must be administered to residents of two establishments: the long-term care unit of the René-Muret hospital in Sevran in Seine-Saint-Denis, a department which has paid a heavy price for the Covid-19 with nearly 1,500 dead; the geriatric center of Champmaillot, in Dijon, in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, one of the regions with the highest incidence rate of the virus.

In order to help you see more clearly about vaccines against Covid-19, we have selected five articles published recently on our site.

If you are wondering when you can get vaccinated

Preparation of Pfizer-BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine, Petah Tikva, Israel, December 20, 2020 (NIR KEIDAR / ANADOLU AGENCY / AFP)

Are you a priority for access to vaccination? Which stage of the plan put in place by the government concerns you? You may be having trouble finding your way around. Franceinfo has prepared a questionnaire to try to enlighten you.

>> INFOGRAPHICS. When can you get vaccinated against Covid-19?

If you want to understand why the French are so suspicious

A coronavirus vaccination in Boston, United States, December 23, 2020 (JOSEPH PREZIOSO / AFP)

In Louis Pasteur’s country, the vaccine no longer smells of sanctity. Only one in two French people intend to go through the puncture box, according to a survey carried out in November by Odoxa-Dentsu Consulting for franceinfo and Le Figaro. This mistrust appears to be significantly higher than the levels observed abroad: with 54% of people who say they intend to be vaccinated, France appears last in a group of 15 countries studied in another survey by Ipsos in October, far behind South Korea, China and India, which exceed 80%.

>> Vaccines: why are we so suspicious?

If you are interested in how vaccines will be controlled once on the market

A vial of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on December 22, 2020, in Haxby, UK.  (LINDSEY PARNABY / AFP)

In terms of pharmacovigilance, several major challenges will have to be met in 2021: specifying the effectiveness and risks of vaccines, as well as responding to the fears of the French. To remove doubts, vaccine surveillance systems will be strengthened, said the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products. The aim is to confirm the desired benefit: reduce the number of hospitalizations and deaths linked to the epidemic.

It will also take “identify any adverse effects which may not have been observed during clinical trials”. For that, the cogs of control prepare to face many unknowns.

>> Covid-19: how vaccines will be scrutinized after they are put on the market in France

If you are wondering if other vaccines have been a problem in the past

A vial of vaccine in a factory of the pharmaceutical group Sanofi Pasteur in Marcy-l'Etoile (Rhône), July 7, 2016. (JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK / AFP)

The mistrust of many French people is fueled in particular by the memory of hiccups during previous campaigns, but also by misconceptions about the dangers of vaccines. Franceinfo looks back on the serious side effects which have been attributed, often wrongly, to the vaccines distributed in France, and on the attitude of the health authorities.

>> What vaccines were suspected of serious side effects before those against Covid-19 (and what really is)?

If you want to know everything about the six vaccines reserved by Europe

A laboratory technician works on a vaccine project against Covid-19 at the premises of the University of Oxford (United Kingdom), November 23, 2020 (JOHN CAIRNS / UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD / AFP)

Europe has taken out the checkbook so as not to run out of vaccines against Covid-19. With some 1.5 billion doses pre-ordered from six laboratories, the EU is forming “one of the most comprehensive portfolios in the world”, welcomed the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. These vaccines will be intended in particular for the 448 million citizens living in the territory of the EU.

>> Efficacy, doses, storage … All about the six vaccines against Covid-19 already reserved by the European Commission

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