Covid-19: in Ardèche, forced and sometimes electric cohabitation between vaccinated and non-vaccinated

By Rémi Barroux

Posted today at 03:22

Canceled Christmas markets, alumni meals postponed, wish ceremonies crossed off the diaries… The Ardèche is not experiencing a new confinement, but it sometimes resembles it. Just overtaken by the Drôme, the department remained for long weeks at the head of the most infected by Covid-19, with an incidence rate of over 900 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, almost twice the national average. As of December 5, the full vaccination rate was 71.7% there, compared to 73.9% at the regional level and 75.8% in France.

“The epidemic dynamic has resumed earlier than elsewhere and the population is less protected”, explains Thierry Devimeux, prefect of Ardèche. According to him, 35,000 Ardéchois, out of some 330,000 inhabitants, apart from children, have not yet started their vaccination course. “There is a tradition here of contestation of central power, of mistrust of the rule”, he analyzes. For the departmental director of the Regional Health Agency (ARS) Emmanuelle Soriano, the incidence and vaccination rates are also linked: “Two-thirds of hospitalizations are in areas of the least vaccination, and two-thirds of hospitalized patients were unvaccinated. ”

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In the south of the department, which is particularly resistant, there may be a differential of ten points with the average vaccination rate, which is already low. “These are people who claim a certain freedom, which is expressed by a refusal to wear a mask, pass, vaccine. And with the decline of barrier gestures in the general population, this leads to the development of chains of contamination ”, continues Mme Soriano. Added to this are falling temperatures and the return of life in a closed environment.

Anonymous letter and torn plaques

With the epidemic outbreak, the supply of vaccination had to be increased. In Saint-Etienne-de-Fontbellon, at the gates of Aubenas, this Tuesday, December 7, a center has just opened, whose slots are quickly occupied. But there is also resistance. “Whole families believe that the best resistance to the virus is to catch it and make their antibodies,” testifies Cédric Lomel, nurse. Our role is to inform, but to convince is often impossible. “ Her colleague, Valérie Barani, talks about “The sixty-eight culture, the rebel side” of the place. The day after the center opened, an anonymous letter was left in the letterbox of their office in town, directing them to “To cease, as of now, any injection (…) To the population “, the letter explaining that this “Can cause death”. A few days before, their professional plates had been torn off and smashed.

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Covid-19: in Ardèche, forced and sometimes electric cohabitation between vaccinated and non-vaccinated