It is a deadly disease and one of the most contagious. “A person infected with measles infects an average of fifteen people; with the Covid, it’s three or four people, ”underlines Anne Goffard, virologist at the Lille University Hospital. Compulsory for infants since 2018, vaccination against this disease could soon be imposed on staff in the health and medico-social sectors, firefighters and early childhood professionals.
In any case, this is what the High Authority for Health (HAS) recommends in the last part of its work on the vaccination of health professionals, unveiled on July 31. The authority justifies its decision by the circulation of the virus in the care settings, in particular in the hospital. According to two studies by Public Health France, health professionals are even involved in 75 to 83% of nosocomial cases of measles.
A majority of caregivers already vaccinated
“The importance of such a vaccination no longer needs to be demonstrated,” said Thierry Amouroux, spokesperson for the National Union of Nursing Professionals. If the vaccination imposed against the Covid has created a stir among caregivers, this obligation should not meet with major opposition according to him. “Not only are a large number of us already vaccinated, but the MMR (the vaccine protecting against both measles, mumps and rubella) does not arouse any particular reluctance, except perhaps among a few individuals who , anyway, have already been spotted at the time of the Covid. »
He pleaded for the HAS to go further by also imposing the vaccination of caregivers against the flu. For the time being, this is simply recommended, in particular because of the weak protection conferred by anti-influenza vaccines. Conversely, studies rate the overall effectiveness of the measles vaccine at 96% after one dose and 98% after two doses.
A “pas de deux” from the HAS
If the Ministry of Health agrees with the opinion of the HAS, which is generally the case, professionals not immunized against measles (by the vaccine or an infection) will be laid off. A threat which, since the lifting of the vaccination obligation for caregivers against Covid, has lost its strength, points to doctor Colonel Norbert Berginiat, vice-president of the National Federation of Firefighters of France. “How are we going to encourage people to get vaccinated against measles when we have reintegrated caregivers who have not been vaccinated against Covid (following the opinion to this effect from the HAS, editor’s note), sometimes at the same post? than before? Besides failing to repopulate health facilities, this decision is devastating to public health. »
“This pas de deux from the HAS confused the message, agrees Anne Goffard. This is however clear: we caregivers do not have the right to make our patients sick. It is a question of ethics. »