Faced with the slowdown in the vaccine campaign, the government is considering closing the Covid-19 vaccination centers by this fall, or at the latest in February 2022. The transition will be made according to the capacity of pharmacists and liberal doctors to take over from these places created at the beginning of the year to massively vaccinate the population.
The Ministry of Health expects a “load of injections” of 2.9 million doses per week in September – an optimistic assumption given the 1.8 million doses passed last week. The weekly rate would then drop to 1.3 million in October, 0.7 in November, 0.6 in December then 0.4 and January and February. That is, on the basis of 4.3 weeks per month, more than 27 million vaccinations before the end of the winter, of which a large part for the “booster dose” – which potentially targets 18 million people.
Carefully optimistic caregivers
Two options are on the table: depending on whether the Liberals can perform 750,000 or 300,000 injections per week, this “would imply a closure of the centers in October or February”. Caregivers are cautiously optimistic. As for general practitioners, “we have the capacity to vaccinate if we are given the doses”, assures Jacques Battistoni (MG France).
Among pharmacists too, “from the moment we have the doses, there is no difficulty in making 750,000 vaccinations in town,” said Philippe Besset (FSPF). Pfizer’s orders will finally be opened to them on Monday, for delivery in early October, but the Liberals are scalded by the repeated logistical failures of other vaccines (AstraZeneca, Janssen and Moderna).
If everything goes without a hitch this time, “a priori the closings of centers will take place at the end of the year”, predicts Philippe Besset. Unless there is a new rebound: the ministry does not in fact exclude “the possibility of a recall in the general population”, that is to say of a third dose for all.