The third round of vaccinations against the Coronavirus has been officially launched since Monday in retirement homes. More than eight months after having wiped the plasters of vaccination, establishments for dependent elderly people (Ehpad) brought out the syringes and began the campaign to inject a third dose of vaccine from their resident. Objective: to maintain the immune defenses of some 600,000 seniors concerned, in accordance with the recommendations of the High Authority for Health.
“For the most vulnerable people, over time, the effectiveness of (the) vaccination decreases”, recalled Prime Minister Jean Castex, who himself came to attend injections in a nursing home in Clamart, in the Paris suburbs. This recall campaign is all the more important as the residents of retirement homes “paid a very heavy price” at the start of the epidemic, “before the vaccination arrived,” he added.
26,700 dead in retirement homes
According to official figures, the virus has killed more than 26,700 people in retirement homes, nearly a quarter of the total number of deaths in France. But 90% of residents have now received two doses of vaccine and since then, their “death rate, and even disease, has dropped considerably,” said the head of government.
In her nursing home in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, the ACPPA Péan, Madeleine Levieil, 98 years old, gave herself with good grace to her third injection. Not necessarily to feel better protected but “to set an example”, she explains. “I do it because I am a reasonable person”, smiles the old lady, who “finds ridiculous all these parades against vaccination”.
Protect residents before winter
“This additional protection is welcome, to boost the immune system of residents and protect them before winter,” said Dr Jean-Marie Nguyen Quang, coordinating doctor of this 94-place establishment, which lost nine residents during the first wave, in spring 2020. “Vaccination changed everything: residents were once again able to go out, go to restaurants with their families, rediscover the joie de vivre that had been so lacking, everything that makes life worth it. ‘to be lived’, summarizes the doctor.
If some establishments were able to carry out first injections at the end of last week, most of this recall campaign started on Monday. Each facility can order 10 vials per week, or 70 doses, and will have to organize themselves to spread the injections over three to five weeks, depending on the date of the first injections.
600,000 among those over 65
Beyond nursing homes, the third dose is also recommended for the “5 million over 65 who had their second dose 6 months ago” – or their first, if they had the Covid -, recalled the Prime Minister. Among them, about 600,000 have already made an appointment to obtain this recall, according to him.
The attention of the public authorities is also focused on the 8 million French people who have not yet received their first dose, “in particular the most vulnerable among them”, underlined Jean Castex. They “are not necessarily doctrinaire opponents of vaccination” but “we must go and find them where they are”, including in isolated territories, he added.
For Pascal Champvert, of the AD-PA association, which brings together directors of nursing homes and home services, efforts must particularly focus on seniors with a loss of autonomy who live at home: “they were not able to benefit from logistics set up in retirement homes. As usual, the home sector has been somewhat forgotten in this crisis, ”he said.