It is one of the most burning issues for the executive. While cases of coronavirus are on the rise in France, after weeks of continuous decline and with the threat of the Delta variant, the question is increasingly raised of compulsory vaccination for caregivers, a public particularly exposed to the virus but also potentially very transmitter in view of the number of contacts with patients.
To this end, the Prime Minister will bring together associations of elected officials to discuss this vaccination obligation. An obligation already decreed in several countries, such as Italy on April 1. Great Britain makes compulsory vaccination for nursing home professionals from October 2021. It is an understatement to say that the debate promises to be heated in France, the CGT having notably pronounced against the compulsory vaccination of caregivers. In order to see more clearly, the General Directorate of Health (DGS) has published the percentage of vaccination among caregivers.
As of June 30, 89.9% of private caregivers in France had received at least one dose of vaccine against the coronavirus, as well as 59.3% of professionals in nursing homes and in long-term care units (USLD), according to the data. of the DGS. But how could this figure be calculated so precisely? Asked about the subject, the DGS explains. Public Health France has set up a specific study in partnership with the Geres (Study Group on the risk of exposure of caregivers to infectious agents) and with the support of the CPias (Support Center for the prevention of associated infections care), and operational hygiene teams.
Participation was voluntary, “all public or private health establishments were solicited, through regional or professional relays: Cpias, regional units of Public Health France, correspondents of Geres”, notes the DGS, and “more than 1,300 establishments were also contacted directly by email. The information collected concerned all salaried professionals in these establishments, whether or not they were health professionals. “It was not necessary to have been vaccinated at the workplace to be listed as vaccinated, specifies the DGS, indicating that” vaccinations are taken into account regardless of the place of vaccination of professionals (in nursing homes, in a vaccination center, in an office…) ”.
Easy but incomplete data
The data are not exhaustive, however, since with regard to nursing homes and USLDs, “the cohort covers 120,000 professionals, which would represent around 26% of professionals working in these establishments,” notes the DGS.
For Christian Jeambrun, former president of the liberal doctors’ union, the collection of data should not have anything very complicated: “All vaccinated are declared to the primary health insurance fund (CPAM), which also has the list of professionals. health. The figures are also shared with the regional health agencies (ARS), which ultimately makes the data relatively accessible. All you have to do is cross the lists of health professionals and the lists of people vaccinated. “
Data received skeptically
These data are subject to criticism, because of the opacity around their origin, but also of imprecision. Doctor Jérôme Marty, president of the Syndicat Union Française pour une Médecine Libre, explains: “These are very vague data, and we do not always know what they put in the caregiver category. Stretcher bearers, hospital service workers, nurses, doctors, everything is mixed up in a catch-all category which means that the data is unusable as it is. “
Data which would therefore be too vague to be usefully exploited in the context of the debate on compulsory vaccination among caregivers: “If we want to pursue a policy of explanations and education, we still need to know which audience precisely we must convince », Notes the doctor.
However, he assures him, observations in the field make it possible to quickly see certain procedures to be put in place, “in particular that the vaccination is much more effective if it has taken place on the health site itself, instead of asking professionals to go to centers elsewhere. One thing is certain for both doctors, the current rate of vaccination among caregivers appears to be far too low and deserves action to increase it. It remains to be seen whether or not the current data will allow us to opt for the best strategy.