It is a race against the clock that started Thursday, November 25, when Olivier Véran affirmed that, from January 15, the health pass would be subject to a third dose of vaccine against Covid-19 for all adults. How, in fifty days, manage to inject the booster dose to all those who can receive it? “In practice, this concerns 25 million French people, of whom 6 million have already received their booster. There are therefore still 19 million French people to date, who become eligible for the vaccination booster,” said the Minister of Health, while this dose can be injected from Saturday 27 November. Too ambitious a mission? Franceinfo takes stock of this massive campaign.
Does France have enough doses?
From a logistical point of view, we must first ensure that there is a sufficient number of doses available to vaccinate these 19 million French people. “We have more than enough vaccines in stock to be able to vaccinate all those who need to be vaccinated, including all those who decide to have their first injection and all those who should receive their booster”, explained Olivier Véran, Thursday evening.
Currently, “26 million messenger RNA vaccines are stored in health establishments and more than 4 million doses are stored in city health professionals”, such as doctors, midwives, nurses or masseurs- physiotherapists, specifies the Ministry of Health to franceinfo.
How will the campaign be organized?
Second problem: to inject these doses to French people eligible for the booster, it is necessary that there are enough vaccination centers. Thursday, Olivier Véran said that “300 centers would reopen”, in addition to the 1,100 already existing centers.
Even more than during the first and second doses, doctors and other health professionals will be the linchpin of this recall campaign. The Ministry of Health also relies on the 20,000 pharmacies in the territory. “We are ready, organized, (…) with enough doses”, assured Wednesday on franceinfo Gilles Bonnefond, spokesperson for the Union syndicale des pharmaciens de dispensière, about the anticipated expansion of the booster dose to all adults.
Will online platforms succeed in managing appointments?
This is the phenomenon of this weekend: government announcements have generated a large number of appointments made on Doctolib, with 1.2 million slots reserved on Thursday. Sign of the eagerness of eligible French people, a wait of more than 30 minutes was imposed on Internet users, Friday afternoon. And once the platform was accessible, many centers no longer displayed available slots for several weeks.
Aware of this bottleneck, which the company considers temporary, Doctolib nevertheless believes that the situation should be resolved in the coming days: “Over the next ten days, the 1,400 vaccination centers, the 40,000 general practitioners and 20,000 pharmacists will open up availability, “said its managing director, Stanislas Niox-Chateau, on RMC, Friday morning. “In the next two months, all French people will have had the opportunity to be vaccinated not far from home and receive their reminder,” for his part guaranteed Olivier Véran, Thursday evening on TF1.