Vaccination, hospitals under pressure: Olivier Véran's Thursday February 25 update

Published by Laurent P. · Published on 25 February 2021 at 20h51 · Updated on 1 March 2021 at 16h59
On the occasion of a press brief held this Thursday February 25, French Health Minister Olivier Véran addressed the vaccination situation in France and its evolution.

The vaccination campaign continues in France… This is what said Olivier Véran in a nutshell this Thursday February 25 during a press brief to address vaccination in France, its evolution, as well as the epidemic. The Health Minister started by reminding that the virus is still spreading and has been increasing: "after decreasing for two weeks, the spread of the virus in the country increases again daily. For instance, over 25,000 cases have been reported over the past 24 hours, against 22,000 cases this past Thursday", the Minister explains.

Worrying mutations

The reason behind the increase? Variants keeps on spreading: "If I had to sum the situation up, I'd say that thanks to managing measures we have implemented, including curfew, working from home, thanks to the French complying with the health guidelines, we can make Covid-19 withdraw again, as we knew so far in our country" he goes on, adding that "because of greater inherent contagiousness [...] and even though we cannot make the spread of the variant withdraw that increases by about 40% per week", the variant "has spread so much that today, the viral spread in the country leads to an increase in the new case toll".

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In France, the UK coronavirus variant keeps on spreading in France and even dominates the historic strain. It is now found in almost 60% of coronavirus cases in the country and dominates in 57 mainland departments. According to Health Minister Olivier Véran, "variants have become standard in France".

Hospitals still under pressure

He then addressed the critical situation in hospitals: "There is a clinical impact related to the virus spread increase, with fewer hospitalizations. We cannot see the increase in hospitalizations, but we know, for one year, that when the number of cases increases, the hospitalization toll will ultimately increase a few days after". He adds: "The same way, the pressure in ICUs remains strong in our country. We are not fully out of the second wave in terms of hospital pressure and ICU load, and doctors and healthcare teams tell us how hard it is to face the flow of patients on a daily basis." Two regions are under special surveillance: "The hospital impact in some regions is stronger than in others. This is the case in the PACA area and in Haut-de-France", he explains.

Vaccination starts to pay off

Put vaccination is paying off since clinical patients' average age has decreased: "The average age of patients hospitalized and patients suffering from severe disease in the ER or ICU [...] is decreasing by 6 to 7 years, namely patienyts in ICU were mostly 63 years of age and now seem to be around 55 years old". He goes on: "it does not mean the virus is less severe in young people, it means there are fewer elderly people sick thanks to vaccination, and because these people are protected. Which means, we can hope [...] that for 100 sick, there are proportionally fewer severe diseases than before".

Olivier Véran also addressed the vaccination schedule in France:

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