Faced with the rise in cases of monkeypox and the difficulties in tracing the chains of contamination, France has decided to offer preventive vaccination to the most exposed groups, starting this week. But health authorities are facing a growing number of critics reporting difficulties in getting an appointment.
“Given the high demand, delays for making appointments and injections may be observed during the first days of the campaign”agreed the general direction of health (DGS) in a press release.
“Furthermore, although vaccines against Monkeypox are indeed part of the strategic stock and that, for everyone’s safety, the information related to this stock is classified and cannot be disclosed, the health authorities confirm that all the people concerned by the HAS indications may be vaccinated”she assured.
The authorities have decided to set up a toll-free number “Monkeypox Info Service” (0801-90-80-69) accessible from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and seven days a week, to inform the public of the epidemic and the vaccination.
In addition, if certain vaccination centers are “already active for several days”for example in Ile-de-France, “other centers will open, from this week and in the weeks to come, to cover the entire metropolitan and overseas territory”highlights Public Health France.
More than 700 vaccinations carried out
France announced on Friday the extension of vaccination, now offered preventively to the most exposed groups, in particular homosexuals, as in other countries. It joins in this approach the United Kingdom, the United States or Canada, as demanded by LGBTQ + associations, health professionals and left-wing parties.
Until then, vaccination was only offered to adults, including caregivers, who had risky contact with a patient. About 700 people have been vaccinated.
Criticism of the slowness of the vaccination process has flourished on social networks, relayed by associations or politicians, such as the socialist group in the National Assembly which on Tuesday questioned the Minister of Health, François Braun, on the necessity of “react quickly”.
The possibility of preventive vaccination concerns “men who have sex with men and trans people reporting multiple sexual partners, people in a situation of prostitution, professionals in places of sexual consumption”. “Vaccination can also be considered on a case-by-case basis for health professionals who have to take care of sick people”said the DGS.