Appeared at the end of 2019, the Covid-19 disease is responsible for a global epidemic that is still active. Symptoms, incubation time, contagion, people at risk, screening, treatments… Current knowledge of this new infectious disease. At the end of 2019, clustered cases of pneumonia were occurring in China, some of which were fatal. On January 9, 2020, the responsible virus was identified, it is a new coronavirus called Sars-CoV-2 responsible for a disease called “Covid-19” by the WHO. A year later, doctors confirm that there is still a lot to learn from this new disease. Symptoms, incubation time, contagion, people at risk… Current knowledge of this new infectious disease.
Who can get vaccinated?
All adults residing in France can now be vaccinated. There is therefore no need to be part of the priority audiences, to have a particular activity or to be a person at risk.
Foreigners can also be vaccinated in the same way as the French. It is sufficient to be resident in the national territory, to benefit from the AME or to be an asylum seeker. The vaccination is also completely free.
Children cannot be vaccinated yet, but adolescents will soon be. Professor Alain Fischer, responsible for the French vaccine strategy, said last week that 16 to 18 year olds would be able to be vaccinated “in June”. In addition, this Friday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorized the vaccination of 12-15 year olds with the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine.
Types of COVID-19 Testing
- Virological tests (RT-PCR): they make it possible to determine whether a person is a carrier of the virus at the time of the test, thanks to a nasal or salivary sample. The result is usually available within 24 hours. In order to facilitate screening for Covid-19, PCR tests are fully covered by health insurance and do not require a doctor’s prescription.
- Serological tests: these are used to find out if a person has developed an immune reaction after coming into contact with the virus. These tests detect the presence of antibodies through a blood test. Reliable serological tests are listed online. They are reimbursed by social security when they fall within the scope of the indications defined by the Haute Autorité de Santé.
- Antigenic tests: these detect the presence of the virus or fragments of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Like RT-PCR tests, they allow early diagnosis of diseases from the acute phase. They answer the question “is the patient a carrier of COVID-19 or not?” “. Like the current reference test, RT-PCR, antigenic tests are currently carried out using samples taken from the nose, by swab. But while the RT-PCR requires an analysis sometimes of several hours in the laboratory, to detect the genetic material of the coronavirus, the antigenic test identifies proteins of the virus in less than 30 minutes.
- Nasal self-tests: these are antigenic tests in which the sampling and reading of the result can be carried out alone, according to the indications provided by a professional and after reading the conditions of use and the “user guide” provided. during the purchase. The sampling method authorized today is the nasal self-sampling, which is shallower than the nasopharyngeal swab performed for conventional PCR and antigen tests. The result is determined in fifteen to twenty minutes, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Saliva tests: they correspond to an examination of the saliva; they don’t hurt. They are deployed in nursery and elementary schools to strengthen Covid-19 screening and break the chains of contamination as quickly as possible. Their collection is more acceptable by young children than that of the nasopharyngeal test (through the nose).
Where to get vaccinated?
To be vaccinated against the coronavirus, you have to go to a vaccination center, to your general practitioner or to a pharmacy. France currently has more than 2,000 vaccination centers spread across the country. A constantly increasing figure.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are generally administered in vaccination centers. City medicine and pharmacy pharmacies have AstraZeneca vaccines (and soon Johnson & Johnson), which are easier to store. From May 28, pharmacies will receive doses of the Moderna vaccine.
How to make an appointment?
It is possible to make an appointment, by three means:
- By phone, at 0 800 009 110, a free number open 7 days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- On the public site Sante.fr, which lists all the vaccination centers. You must choose the city of residence (or the city where you wish to be vaccinated) to obtain the useful contacts. You can reach them by phone or directly book a time slot online.
- On the three private medical platforms Doctolib, Maiia and Keldoc. “When the patient is on the website, they will be asked questions about their age. The objective is that only eligible populations can make an appointment and access the vaccination centers, ”assured Franceinfo Stanislas Niox-Château, co-founder and president of Doctolib. Reminder SMS will be sent to make sure you don’t forget the appointment.
It is also possible to make an appointment with a general practitioner or to go to a pharmacy to make an appointment as soon as possible (only with AstraZeneca and Janssen).
How is the vaccination carried out?
On the day of the appointment, health personnel are responsible for asking questions of the person concerned or will have them fill out a self-questionnaire in order to ensure that there are no contraindications. It will be a question of whether the person does not have severe allergies, has not had the Covid in the past three months, has not been vaccinated against the flu in the previous three weeks or has not yet fever or other symptoms of Covid-19.
If the questionnaire is validated by the medical team, a doctor, nurse or another sworn person (firefighter, etc.) is responsible for carrying out the first intramuscular injection into the shoulder. As a precaution, the vaccinated person is invited to stay fifteen minutes on site before being able to return home. It is listed in the “SI Vaccin Covid” file (Covid vaccine information system), which lists the French vaccinated.
To receive the second dose of the vaccine, it will be necessary to wait “between three and six weeks”, according to the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran. The appointment must be scheduled during the first visit.
The vaccination certificate
Since May 3, health insurance has been responsible for providing all people fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with a vaccination certificate which will be necessary as part of the implementation of the health pass in early June to participate to certain gatherings (concerts, sporting events, etc.) or to travel from this summer to certain countries that require it.