The coronavirus is still circulating strongly: more than 12,000 new cases have been detected in the last 24 hours in France. The situation is far from that expected by the government and by infectious disease specialists, in particular by Professor Arnaud Fontanet. The member of the Scientific Council announced this Monday on Franceinfo that immunity to the coronavirus would be possible only by the infection of more than half of the French – causing the death of hundreds of thousands of people – or by the vaccine. For him, “there is no photo”.
Less side effects
“The virus will stop circulating in an epidemic fashion when at least half of people have been immunized: either by natural infection or by the vaccine”, estimates Professor Arnaud Fontanet. But there is a problem: the vaccine raises a serious crisis of mistrust. In particular with regard to the undesirable side effects that an injection could produce due to the rapidity of the development of the anti-coronavirus vaccine.
“It is important to say that these vaccines have been tested within the standards”, recalls the infectious disease specialist who details: “The only side effects which have been observed are serious allergic reactions – also called anaphylactic shock – which occur for 1 / 50,000 to 1 / 100,000 of people who have been vaccinated. So you have to be careful with people who have a serious allergic history. But these are people who, the next day, were fine. ” According to Pr Arnaud Fontanet, the risk of having a serious side effect is lower, compared to that caused by contamination with the coronavirus.
Concern around the British variant
While the vaccination campaign was launched “very slowly”, only 500 people received an injection, Professor Arnaud Fontanet recalls that according to him, “the real deadline” is at the end of March. When 5 to 10 million people will be vaccinated. “There we will start to have an impact on the circulation of the virus.”
But for the infectious disease specialist, another problem remains: the British variant, to “watch extremely closely”. With 50% more contagiousness than other variants of the virus. “Therefore, it can precipitate us towards an extremely complex situation of the epidemic”, he explains.