They are already warning about a fifth epidemic wave. Researchers from the Institut Pasteur unveiled on Monday new models on the evolution of the health crisis in France. According to them, vaccination coverage has reached “higher levels than the assumptions made in June”, in particular thanks to the extension of the health pass in France. “We assume that the basic reproduction number R0 is equal to 5 (compared to R0 = 4 in the June analysis), that the risk of hospitalization increases by 50% for people infected with the Delta variant and that vaccination reduces the risk of infection by 60% for the Delta variant (compared to 80% in the June analysis) “, write the researchers.
Several elements are to be remembered from these projections. Already unvaccinated adults are contributing “importantly” to hospital pressure and “disproportionately” to transmission. In this baseline scenario, people over 60 who have not received the slightest dose of vaccine represent 3% of the population but 43% of hospitalizations alone.
Scientists also call for vaccinated people to continue to respect barrier gestures and to wear masks. “to protect themselves from infection and avoid infecting their loved ones”. A recommendation justified by the lower protection against infection of people vaccinated against the Delta variant.
A third of the infections expected in minors
Another important projection: researchers expect a third of infections to occur in minors against nearly half in their previous estimates. “This is due to the relatively higher proportion of infections in adults due to the decline in vaccine efficacy against infection with the Delta variant and the higher proportion of adolescents who have been vaccinated”, say the researchers at the Institut Pasteur. “Given the characteristics of the Delta variant, stopping all control measures could lead to significant stress on the health system. It is therefore important that current efforts to limit transmission be maintained.”, finally judge the scientists who call for “remain vigilant in the face of any deterioration in the situation”.
The protective measures, the wearing of a mask, the health pass and the screening strategy, combined with the vaccination, make it possible to sufficiently reduce the transmission of the virus to avoid a new confinement. These measures concern both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. Respect for barrier gestures for all is essential.