COVID-19 | European countries accelerate their vaccination campaigns in the face of the third wave

The French Government has resumed its vaccination plan. Like most countries, France starts with the most vulnerable. At a hospital on the outskirts of Paris, just over 200 chronic patients have received the COVID-19 vaccine as of Thursday.

“It is a fairly young vaccine, which was not developed long ago, so I thought a lot about the side effects. But I know there are more benefits than doubts,” said the patient, Marie-Josée Langlois.

The vaccination campaign began on December 27 and this Wednesday there were 247,167 people vaccinated with the first dose, a figure that Prime Minister Jean Castex intends to bring up to one million by the end of January.

“By the end of January, we will have more than a million people vaccinated, which was our initial goal. This result is not only due to the fact that we have received more vaccines, but also because we have delayed the administration of the second dose for a week , and states observing much less losses in the application of the doses “, detailed Castex in an address.

Starting next Monday, all people over 75 years of age and citizens with serious illnesses of any age, some 6.4 million people in total, may also begin to be vaccinated.

For its part, the UK has plans to vaccinate 15 million high-risk people by mid-February. To get there, some local pharmacies across England began vaccinating vulnerable people on Thursday.

Likewise, the country has started the first tests in patients with covid-19 with a large-scale treatment with interferon beta, an inhaled protein that serves to “stimulate the immune system”, fight the virus and “reduce the severity of the disease” .

In a statement released today, Synairgen, the biotechnology company that created this treatment together with the University of Southampton, said that interferon beta is already “widely” used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and is a “safe and well-tolerated drug. “.

WHO regrets that ten countries account for 95% of all immunizations

Like the UK, other developed countries are optimistic about their immunization campaigns. But the World Health Organization (WHO) is diluting optimism and warning about the risk of hoarding vaccines.

“95% of the 23.5 million doses administered worldwide are in just ten countries. We cannot allow any country or community to run out of vaccines,” said Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe. .

According to the data analysis site Our World in data, these countries would be: the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Russia, Germany, Spain and Canada.

Around 1% of Europe’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, which means there are still months of difficulties ahead. For countries that have not yet received the vaccine, 2021 will be as difficult as 2020.