Is France to soon reach the end of the tunnel and exit the Covid crisis? Of course, according to many scientists and doctors thinking life is to get back to normal between the summer and the Fall 2021. As for Institut Pasteur, this Tuesday April 6, they even go further in a study featuring several likely crisis-exit scenarios, depending on the vaccination level. And their predictions are clear: to life to really get back to normal this Fall, vaccination must reach a very high rate.
Therefore, according to Institut Pasteur forecasts, vaccinating 90% of people aged 65+ and 70% of people between 18 and 64 years of age is not enough to let go of the health guidelines by the Fall. Because of the UK variant – far more contagious – that, according to the Institut, makes the R-0 increase to 4 this Fall, which is well-above the threshold reached when the first wave peaked in March 2020. Also, because the low immunization rate only involves 20% of the French. Predictions that go all the way up to establishing the number of daily hospitalizations and suggest there will be over 1,000 of them.
“Even in the most optimistic scenarios, the current vaccination intentions of the French population could not enable making controlling measures completely softer. If possible, vaccinating children could help reach this goal”, Institut Pasteur explains. Yet, despite this scenario, living under a cover with lockdown and curfew would no longer be useful: “it would be necessary to keep controlling measures and reduce the transmission rates in the overall population by 15-27% compared to the scenario of lifting measures. As a comparison, during the March-May 2020 lockdown, the transmission rates have been cut off by 80%”, scientists continue.
What about herd immunity? It remains reachable, the Institut thinks. “If the vaccination campaign only applies to the adult population, for R0=4, it would be necessary that over 90% of adults be vaccinated to consider lifting controlling restrictions”, the scientists explain. And if vaccines are effective and safe for children, these data could be reviewed downwards: “vaccinating 0-64-year-old by 60-69% and 65+ by 90%” would enable to reach the goal. A major stake then for the government that must convince as many people as possible to get vaccinated.