The government will loosen the screw again next Wednesday with the reopening of restaurant rooms or the easing of teleworking. But for the president of the Medical Commission for the establishment of Public Assistance-Hospitals of Paris, Rémi Salomon, this does not mean that we must lower our vigilance in the face of the coronavirus. We are, according to him, “far from the long awaited collective immunity”.
“We still have a long way to go”
Collective immunity is “what will make the virus disappear”. And to achieve it, as many people as possible must have developed resistance to Covid-19, either thanks to a vaccine or by having caught it. Except that currently “about 18% of the French” have received two doses of a vaccine and “about 21 to 25%” have fought the virus, details Rémi Salomon. “If you add the two, you arrive at about 40%. And collective immunity is rather 80% according to epidemiologists,” continues the president of the CME.
Until some time ago, it was possible to envisage collective immunity around 60 or 70% of people resistant to the coronavirus. But with the variants, those hopes are gone. “With the more transmissible forms, a higher level of immunity is needed,” says Rémi Salomon. Before adding: “we still have a long way to go”.
A “race” between vaccination and the spread of variants
And that home stretch is going to be crucial. The president of the CME therefore advises to remain extremely vigilant this summer, despite the return to a more or less normal life, so as not to let the variants take over. “There is a bit of a race between the number of vaccinations that we are able to do per day and the possibility of having variants,” explains Rémi Salomon. The risk, he says, is that “new mutations may appear. They may even show some degree of resistance to the vaccine.”
For this doctor there is therefore no real choice: we must still remain cautious and “very attentive to what is happening”. “Things can change quite quickly”, continues Rémi Salomon, taking the example of the United Kingdom where the variant of Indian origin is starting to run in certain regions. The measures must, for him, remain adaptable and the efforts must not be relaxed.