Priority for vaccination against covid-19, caregivers are in no hurry to benefit from it, to the point that some doctors claim to make it an obligation for health professionals, which other practitioners consider counterproductive.
“We can no longer accept that staff refuse vaccination,” said Professor François Chast Tuesday on France Inter. For this former head of the pharmacy at Necker hospital (Paris), the injection “is part of good practice”, just like “the wearing of the charlotte, mask or gown during treatment”. Knowing that the injection is potentially effective in limiting contamination, “if this prevention is not done, it becomes professional misconduct,” he asserted.
The risk of nosocomial infection is indeed significant: nearly 27,000 patients caught the coronavirus in hospital between January 1, 2020 and February 14, 2021, according to Public Health France, which lists “186 related deaths”.
“Completely insufficient vaccination coverage”
But despite the priority given to “heroes in white coats” for two months, the goal is still far from being achieved. In retirement homes (Ehpad) and long-term care units (USLD), less than 200,000 professionals have thus received at least one dose of serum, ie 42% of the workforce. “The vaccination coverage of caregivers is totally insufficient,” said Professor Gilles Pialoux on Monday. on franceinfo. Pleading to “open the debate now”, the head of the infectious disease department of the Tenon hospital (Paris) recalled that it would “not be the first compulsory vaccination” for the staff of hospitals and nursing homes, already required to be immune to diphtheria, tetanus, polio and hepatitis B.
For him, the constraint would make it possible to overcome “a mistrust which is that of a part of society”, stronger among “the non-medical personnel, who are also younger”. Moreover, in his establishment, 40% of the doctors were vaccinated, against only 20% of the paramedics.
“On the order of ethics”
The problem is not new and already arose each year for the flu, against which around three quarters of doctors, one third of nurses and one fifth of nursing assistants were protected during the winter of 2018-2019, according to Public Health France. .
Figures that do not distinguish between “very low rates” for employees and liberals who “get vaccinated much more”, around 60% according to Daniel Guillerm.
The president of the National Federation of Nurses (FNI) also judges that it would not be “abnormal to include covid on the list of compulsory vaccines” for caregivers, at least during the epidemic.
“I absolutely do not believe it”, retorts Renaud Péquignot, president of the medical commission of the Hospitals of Saint-Maurice (Val-de-Marne). For this geriatrician, that would be “one more obstacle” to recruiting and could “scare away” staff “that we have no way of retaining, with their ridiculous salaries”. Some “are afraid of the vaccine because of Bill Gates’ 5G, it makes no sense but it is their choice”, he notes. These refractories “who will never want to, what are we going to do?” Are we going to do without their services? “.
The idea is not successful among liberal doctors either. “I do not like obligations”, said Jean-Paul Ortiz, president of the CSMF, the first union in the profession, considering that vaccination “is more of the order of ethics and professional commitment” .
Precisely, caregivers “are there to treat people, not to contaminate them,” said Gérard Raymond, president of France Assos Santé, pointing to an upsurge in “covid clusters in hospitals”. “As Emmanuel Macron said, we are at war, so we must take fairly coercive measures”, he adds, “very favorable to a temporary obligation” in the context of the state of health emergency.
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