There is no vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 yet – the first, currently in clinical trials, could be available in the fourth quarter of 2020 – but France is already working on defining a vaccination strategy.

A first report, drawn up by around fifteen members of the scientific council, the analysis, research and expertise committee (CARE) and the Covid-19 vaccine committee, was posted on the website of the Ministry of Health on Friday July 24.

This document defines in particular the priority targets. First and foremost, we find people exposed by their profession, those at risk because of their age or a chronic illness and individuals in great precariousness, that is to say almost half of the French population.

The professionally exposed population represents, according to the authors, approximately 6.8 million people, of which 1.8 million are health personnel: doctors, dental surgeons, pharmacists, midwives, nurses, nursing assistants, etc. Five other million professionals are also considered a priority because they work in contact with the public (shops, schools, transport, catering, etc.), in a high-risk confined environment (slaughterhouse, taxi, etc.), or even housed in a confined environment (migrant workers, construction sites, etc.) .

Some 23 million people at risk because of their age (over 65), chronic disease (including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes) or obesity are also considered to be “Very first priority” to benefit from a future vaccine. Finally, 250,000 people in a very precarious state are at the same level of priority.

“Give yourself the necessary time”

A list of priorities in “Second place” is estimated at 5 million French. It includes residents of overseas departments and regions in the event of a risk of a shortage of resuscitation beds, people living in closed establishments at increased risk of transmission (prisons, establishments for the disabled and psychiatric hospitals) and staff. with a “strategic” job (police, military, firefighters).

For now, no vaccine has finished its development. At the end of June, 17 were in the clinical trials stage, and 131 in the preclinical phase.

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“The number of vaccines that will ultimately be ordered is still unknown, but we expect to have several tens of millions of vaccine doses (potentially corresponding to 2-5 different products) available between the last quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, which could be deployed if a second wave of Covid-19 occurs ”, say the authors of the report. They specify the laboratories with which negotiations are signed or in progress. Despite the urgency, they call for caution: “It is imperative that the time necessary for a rigorous evaluation of both the efficacy and the safety of vaccine candidates be given before their large-scale use. “

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