On Sunday, the Minister of Health estimated that the emerging flu epidemic was “virulent”. The first pharmacists’ union sees the delay in the campaign as a “fatigue” towards vaccination.
Vaccination against seasonal flu is “significantly behind schedule” compared to last year, the two main pharmacists’ unions said on Monday, fearing a “particularly intense” epidemic this winter.
The trend is not favorable: as of November 18, 32 days after the launch of the flu vaccination campaign, just over 7 million doses had been distributed, compared to 8.6 million last year at the same time of passage.
That is 18.3% less, according to data collected from 14,000 of the 20,000 French pharmacies and published by the company IQVIA, a specialist in health data, on its “opendata platform”.
“A very significant delay” for the Uspo pharmacists’ union, which “sounds the alarm on the fall in vaccination coverage”, judging in a press release this drop “particularly worrying”.
“It’s a bit of a disaster this year”, confirms to AFP Philippe Besset, president of the FSPF, the first union in the profession. Especially since this decline mainly concerns “priority” audiences (over 65, chronically ill, pregnant women), for whom the injection was reserved until November 15.
Pointing to a “general fatigue towards vaccination, even among those for whom it is necessary”, Philippe Besset believes that it will be “very difficult” to catch up with this “delay” without a “significant communication campaign”.
But time is running out, because “the indicators of the arrival of the flu have started to light up in Brittany”, which went into the pre-epidemic phase at the beginning of November, underlined the Minister of Health, Francois Braun, on Sunday on RTL, calling the nascent epidemic “virulent”.
The Uspo, for its part, reports “higher influenza activity” than in other years, suggesting “a premature and particularly intense epidemic” in mainland France.
Francois Braun nevertheless assured that the health system will be able to “support the arrival of the flu if everyone does their part (and) if the most fragile people are vaccinated”.
Source: BFM TV