AFP. via Ellen Jocard
Coronavirus – Last spring he had nothing but his mouth. “The next goal is collective immunity”, Written by Olivier Veran, June 12, 2021 on Twitter. Three weeks later, same minister, same platform: “Achieving mass immunity is a collective challenge, let’s meet it together!”.
The idea was still there, to be able to vaccinate a population at a time where the virus no longer finds a sufficient potential host and disappears: a track that was believed to be the ultimate way to eliminate it. 19.
Vaccines, including the delta version, reduce the risk of the severe form. Vaccinated, we infect ourselves very little, we transmit very little, and we are no longer under stress. Achieving Collective Defense is a collective challenge, let’s meet it together!
— Olivier Veran (@olivierveran) 4 July 2021
But since then, Motus. At the Ministry of Health, during a press briefing on the vaccine strategy on Tuesday, 17 August, we hesitate: “We will not comment on our chances of achieving mass immunity, as there is no consensus.”
“We have today the vision of group immunity, unfortunately, not eighteen or six months ago”, admitted Ellen Fisher, also chair of the Orientation Council on Vaccine Strategy, in an interview with JDD later this week.
A few days ago, his Anglo-Saxon counterpart Andrew Pollard, an Oxford infectious disease expert, dashed the last hopes of UK lawmakers, speaking of a “myth”.
Reason: The Delta variant is much more contagious than the Alpha, which jeopardizes hopes of gaining mass immunity. This would require more than 90% of the population to be vaccinated, and above all, that vaccines prevent any infection.
However, apart from modern, vaccines do little to prevent COVID-19 infection. An earlier publication posted on the MedRxiv platform on August 9, which lists the studies being reviewed, identifies nearly three times more infections by the delta variant in non-vaccinated than by vaccinated, which is the most common cause of infection. The equivalent of protection against is about 42%.
Achieving mass immunity means eliminating the virus by limiting the number of people potentially infected. With delta and incomplete vaccines, the chance of this is less and less. But that doesn’t mean all is lost.
“Zero Critical Form” Strategy
RNA vaccines, the majority in France, prevent more than 75% of severe forms of COVID-19: it avoids all hospitalizations. The epidemic did not go away, but the government hospital got relief, the trick is played: “Thanks to the vaccine, we can avoid closure”, Emmanuel Macron summarized in a press conference on 11 August.
“Collective immunity strategy isolates and forces people to think about zero hospitalization, zero severe form strategy”, boomed on Twitter Clarisse Audigier-ValetteOn 12 August the head of the COVID unit at Toulon University Hospital was clearly outraged by this debate, which is essentially meaningful and technical. According to Pasteur’s model, whether mass immunity or not, the faster vaccine coverage increases, the less impact the fourth wave has on hospital services.
In addition, “vaccination quickly reduces the risk of a vaccine-resistant variant emerging”, according to a model that takes into account the rate of spread of COVID-19 and its mutation, published July 30 in Nature Happened. So, with or without hope of eradicating the virus, the goal is the same: the more vaccinations, the faster. “It doesn’t change our strategy”, pauses Fischer in JDD.
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