Covid-19: “The health pass must be used to accelerate the booster doses”

Tribune. The loss of control over the epidemic in Austria has led to a new containment and compulsory vaccination. Do we want this in France? Certainly not. And yet, at the current rate, we will be in a similar situation in a few days. How can we avoid the setbacks that are already looming across Europe, closures, curfews, and even re-containments? The solution, we have it in front of us: the booster doses and the health pass.

According to a large-scale Israeli study, the booster doses protect very effectively against severe forms of Covid-19 in the entire adult population, and considerably reduce the rate of transmission. The figures speak for themselves, especially for those 40 and over: compared to a complete vaccination schedule of more than five months, protection is around 92% for hospitalizations and intensive care admissions, and 81% for deaths.

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And yet, today, 24% of people between 40 and 49, 40% of people between 50 and 59, and 56% of people between 60 and 64 have received their full vaccination schedule for more than five months, without be entitled to the booster dose. That is 8 million French people who would be protected much more effectively by receiving these famous booster doses. Authorizing them to do so is urgent: 9 out of 10 serious forms and 4 out of 5 deaths could be avoided in the coming weeks in this population.

Massive recall campaign

Prioritization based on a risk criterion was justifiable when there was a shortage of doses when entering the campaign. Today, proceeding in stages according to age groups is strictly unacceptable. It is simply necessary to accelerate, hence the need to authorize and organize a massive recall campaign for all adults, as suggested in the last opinion of the Scientific Council.

This campaign could be based on nudge, a very simple idea of ​​offering a date to all eligible people, instead of waiting for them to register themselves. This method has been shown to be particularly effective in Spain, where more than 99% of the population aged 60 and over is vaccinated. It has also just been adopted in Austria with the aim of speeding up booster doses.

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But if vaccination is essential, people still need to adhere to it. Hence the importance of the health pass, an effective tool to encourage vaccination and approved by the majority of French people. Any lingering doubts about its effectiveness were swept away during the fourth wave. Because despite its initial bad reputation, this sesame quickly became a flagship measure in the fight against the epidemic, in particular because of the major role it played in the vaccination campaign. Before the announcement of its generalization, on July 12, the vaccination rate began to stagnate: with 53.8% of people vaccinated, France was 4.9 percentage points behind Germany, 13.6 behind the United Kingdom. United and 0.8 behind the European Union average.

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Covid-19: “The health pass must be used to accelerate the booster doses”