Covid: third wave, vaccine campaign… what to expect in 2021?

Published by Caroline J. · Photos by My B. · Published on 2 December 2020 at 13h11
As the French are soon to celebrate the Holidays in a never-seen-before fashion because of the health crisis, what to expect in 2021? When will the first vaccines be made available in France? Should the country fear a third wave? Here are a few leads.

2020 will undoubtedly be a year we will all remember. Deeply marked by the coronavirus-related health crisis, many people are now resolutely waiting for 2021, hoping it will be off to a more promising start. But many questions remain unanswered… Should one fear a third wave and new restrictions? When will the first vaccines be made available in France? How will the summer vacations take place? Will music festivals be held? Will the Tokyo Olympics be held as well? Here are a few leads.

A possible third wave?

So far, France and the rest of Europe are still in the middle of the second wave, while other countries are faced with the third wave – like in Japan, South Korea and the United States of America. As the lockdown is to be lifted on December 15 in France, enabling free movements during the day, many French are dreading gatherings during the Holidays.

A few weeks back, the Scientific Committee did not swipe away the return of several successive waves in 2021. As for WHO envoy David Nabarro, he said there will be a third epidemic wave in Europe in early 2021 if the governments make the same “mistakes” as the ones noticed in the managing of the second Covid crisis that is still hitting the continent.

According to Dr. Flavio Toxvaerd – University Lecturer at the Faculty of Economics and Fellow of Clare College, University of Cambridge – told AFP that the number of waves the world is still facing depends on a variety of factors. These factors include: “seasonal changes in contact patterns and the degree of disease management through a combination of social distance and vaccines”.

When will the first vaccines be made available?

Issuing vaccine in France will be essential in 2021. Paris Institut Pasteur epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet said on BFMTV that the arrival of vaccines could enable things to get back to “normal” by Fall 2021 on the condition 80 to 90% of the French get vaccinated.

As the United-Kingdom is the first country in the world to approve the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, where is France at? A few days ago, the Haute Autorité de Santé shared 5 recommended steps for the future vaccine campaign across the country.

As for Emmanuel Macron, he confirmed the first step of the vaccine campaign will be “highly targeting”. It will be followed by “a second vaccine step that will open somewhere between April and June”. It will be “wider and for the general public that will head to vaccinating as many people as possible” he added. For the record, the French President also made it clear vaccine will not be made compulsory.

Other answers on vaccines are focusing on the life-span of immunity or the possible severe side-effects. “Very rare” side-effects are not to be left out and will happen, Pr. Fontanet says. Furthermore, “there will be people vaccinated that will fall sick” but we should not think that the “vaccine is not working” he said to Ouest-France.

What about the summer vacations?

As the French enjoyed the beauty of the country to unwind this past summer, what future lies for the vacation 2021? Will it be possible to travel abroad? Will the quarantine measures instated by many countries be eased off? So far, no one knows, but some airlines could make vaccine compulsory to travel aboard their planes, like Australian airline Quantas.

Another question remains unanswered. Music festivals gathering dozens of thousands of people. Will they take place in 2021? Once again, the French government did not address the topic. As for festival promoters such as Les Vieilles Charrues, Hellfest, Solidays and even Eurockéennes in Belfort, they are ready for 2021.

Last but not least, unmissable event scheduled in 2020 and postponed to 2021: Tokyo Olympics. How will the new edition and very special edition because of Covid-19 take place? So far, the Games are to take place from July 23 to August 8, 2021. If the coronavirus epidemic is under control, then crowds can attend and people could even travel to attend them. This is what the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said back to early November. Yet, they will have to comply with some measures. The organizing committee is thinking about it and could ask spectators not to scream in order to avoid possible spread of Coronavirus-carrying sprays of spit.

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