Although the situation improved earlier this summer, the coronavirus epidemic is not over. As vaccination campaigns go on, the spread of the Delta variant – 60% more contagious than the Alpha variant – sparks fear it could cause a fourth wave likely to hit the country very soon. Several European countries – France included – are faced with this fragile balance.
So, to be able to block this new epidemic wave, the emphasize is put on mass vaccination. This Monday July 12, 2021, Emmanuel Macron spoke and announced new restrictions. In order to encourage the French to get vaccinated as soon as possible, he announced the extension of the Health Pass to many public places. A measure to be progressively applied in compliance with a calendar announced already.
As a matter of fact, contaminations have been rising again in France including 10,949 people tested positive to the virus, although hospitalizations are decreasing - 6,922 patients, as of Saturday July 17. It is caused by the Delta variant and its particularly swift spread in South-Western and Southern France during the summer period.
"Positive PCR tests screening data show the transmission of the Delta variant is very strong (over 100% in comparison with the Alpha variant). It already leads to a major and sudden increase in contaminations", epidemiologist Vittoria Colizza - Inserm head of Research - states. Data confirmed by epidemiologist Philippe Amouyel on France Info: "We must be cautious because the growth is exponential. It will undoubtedly move to 20,000 cases within a dozen days."
For both epidemiologists, the only response to this strong increase in contaminations to prevent a 4th wave soon: vaccination.
"We are standing between the two most favorable hypotheses, and a new growth in primo-injections could help avoid a strong pressure on the health system, under the peak of the third wave. Only a fast pace of injections could help control a fourth wave in September with the goal of reaching 90% of people aged 65+, 80% of adults, and 50% of teenagers vaccinated after the summer vacations. If there are still 10% of elderly people and a fraction of adults non-vaccinated, they could be hospitalized because the Delta is very contagious. According to the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, almost all sick currently in ICU are not vaccinated", Colizza told JDD.
And Amouyel specified: "We need vaccination to go fast. In comparison with oeople over 60 years old, young people are late and it is vital to try and catch up. This is what will enable to curb the growth dynamic by the end of August, and if we can massively vaccinate".