'We risk paying too much for this ignition delay': The slow and ambiguity of the monkeypox vaccination campaign worries the target audience
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‘We risk paying too much for this ignition delay’: The slow and ambiguity of the monkeypox vaccination campaign worries the target audience

Slot machines go as fast as Lady Gaga tickets! At the end of the line, the coordinator in charge of prevention for Act-Up Paris, Marc-Antoine Bartoli, is cynical but does not hide his concern: despite the sharp increase in the number of monkeypox cases in France (However, the health authorities and associations interviewed in this article prefer the English term monkeypox), finding a place for pollination is an obstacle. According to the latest figures reported by the French Public Health Authority (SPF) on July 12, 912 cases have been confirmed in the country.

>> Monkeypox: Eligible population, waiting times, injection methods… Five questions about vaccination

Until then, the monkeypox vaccination was opened on Friday, July 8 for all residents at high risk of the disease, and it’s intended for adults who have been in fraught contact with the disease. “The first cases in France occurred in a well-defined population: MSM [les hommes qui ont des rapports sexuels avec d’autres hommes] who have multiple partnersDetails with France Info Elisabeth Buffett, Chair of the Immunization Technical Committee at the High Authority for Health (HAS).

Therefore, the body chose to open the preventive vaccination against the disease to those who have sex with men as well “People passing by, [dans les deux cas] multiple partners, (to) persons in the case of prostitution, (as well as to) professionals working in places of sexual consumption”.

Since that date, the vaccination campaign has been slow going, despite some enthusiasm in the concerned population. “We noticed the slots opened the following Monday, and it was hell: impossible to make a date. The DGS promised us that the situation would improve in the week of July 18, but it didn’t really work out”Act-Up Paris Prevention Coordinator ensures.

“The slots were quickly saturated, due to the lack of potions”, Mark Dixnough confirms. The Director-General of the Association of Aides, which works to transmit the latest information about the disease, especially through social networks, also notes the inconsistency in information about vaccination. “It varies greatly from region to region. Some regional health agencies (ARS) publish on their website a list of places that offer monkeypox vaccinationwhen others simply refer to the Sida Information Service Platform”he regrets.

If the vast majority (569) of the 912 cases identified on July 12 by Public Health France concerned the Ile-de-France region, the information is already struggling to circulate in other parts of the region. “There are great difficulties in getting appointments from the target audience”Michel Rubirola, first deputy in charge of health in the city council of Marseille (Boches du Rhone), confirms that only the IHU Méditerranée is allowed to vaccinate against the disease. A second center should participate in the campaign in the coming days, “But the staff has not yet received the necessary doses and they are already overwhelmed with requests.”Adds Michele Roberola, who deplores the difficulty she faced “to get the numbers” Upcoming deliveries.

To overcome the difficulties, the Helpers Association has created a discussion group dedicated to monkeypox on Telegram messenger to help those involved share their experience with vaccination or symptoms of disease. whether Monkeypox often manifests in mild forms, and some patients report harrowing agony that prompts those concerned to exercise extreme caution while waiting to receive the precious vaccine.

Mikhail knows something about him. After being polluted after his stay in Madrid at the beginning of July, this Parisian is going through an ordeal. I’ve never felt this pain in my entire life.”hits his forties, who ended up prescribing tramadol (a powerful analgesic from the opioid family) to relieve his anal pain.

“It’s like a burn inside me that I can’t explain. For about ten days, it’s just been complicated sitting still.”

In order to protect his partner who did not get sick, Michael doubles down on precautions. “I sleep on the couch and he is in the bedroom. We are careful not to share the same cutlery, I systematically disinfect the toilets as soon as I go there, avoiding physical contact… All this is a bit frustrating, but if three weeks could have saved him from Precautions from the same symptoms as me, it will be really worth it”, he explains. In a WhatsApp group of about twenty friendsthe topic monkeypox and vaccination “I come back every day”. “Friends can’t find a date before the end of August: due to the spread of the disease, it can be really complicated”Michael worries.

Can the chaotic beginnings of the vaccination campaign be attributed to the lack of vaccine doses? It’s hard to get to the bottom of it. Hearing on July 13, the Senate Social Affairs Committee, Deputy Director of the General Directorate of the Secretary-General, Clement Lazarus, invoked the secrecy of the defense to justify his silence on the subject. Uses part of the stock of smallpox vaccine monkeypox Already formed by “The Secretariat of Defense and National Security, and therefore the secret belongs to it.”the director justified, as reported by the Public Senate.

The head of the Technical Committee for Immunizations at the World Health Assembly explains that she does not have more information on the number of doses available and outlines the extension of the campaign recommended by the High Authority. “Depends on Adequate Availability” who are they.

After contacting franceinfo, Clément Lazarus did not respond to interview requests. However, senators reported the number of doses delivered to the field: 7,500 doses for the week of July 13, and an additional 5,000 doses planned for the following two weeks. The first deliveries, which are still far from reality, upset the General Director of Assistants, who estimated the population concerned with this vaccination at 150,000 people. ‘A very conservative estimate’.

Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Saint-Louis et Lariboisière in Paris, where he vaccinates against monkeypoxAs Jean-Michel Molina says, “Understanding frustration” related to. This specialist, however, claims to have “I have so far received all the required doses”calls to “patience” : Despite the difficult context, with the holiday period, the seventh wave of Covid-19 infection and the lack of staff in the general hospital, the mobilization of caregivers is remarkable in providing rapid access to vaccination for the largest number of people”.

“We organized overnight to be able to vaccinate against monkeypox in the hospital and since then we have been gradually increasing in capacity.”

Jean-Michel Molina, Head of Infectious Diseases at Saint-Louis Hospital and Lariboisière

in franceinfo

As for associations that do not necessarily share this optimism, above all we call for more transparency on the progress of the vaccination campaign on the part of the health authorities. “There are organizational difficulties, everyone can understand this, but it still has to be said officially”Mark Dixnough insists.

Marc-Antoine Bartoli, for his part, fears that the price of these faltering beginnings will be paid for in a number of pollutions. “There is a risk of paying a high price for this delay in ignition at the beginning of the school year: Most patients need to receive two doses 28 days apart and are optimally protected only two weeks after the second injection. Today will not be immunized until September”recalls the prevention coordinator at Act-Up Paris, who fears to see the pollution curve pick up in the coming weeks.

To the extent of spread to the non-target population for vaccination? “The majority of multi-partner MSM is on PrEP [un traitement préventif contre le VIH]Which requires surveillance for STDs and diseases, which goes hand in hand with good care The monkeypoxexplains the director of the association. “I dare not imagine what would happen if the virus ended up spreading to the general public, where this follow-up is of lower quality, in addition to Covid-19”.


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