Health authorities fear malicious actions against vaccine storage locations.
An operation under close surveillance. While the vaccination campaign in France against Covid-19 is due to start this Sunday in Sevran, a real logistical and security challenge arises. Because if it is necessary in particular to preserve the cold chain for the doses, which must be stored at -80 ° C, they must also be protected from any malicious act.
Among the main risks identified are the damage, theft, cyberattacks and other intrusions into vaccine storage sites that the executive fears the most, according to a note from the Ministries of Health and Home Affairs addressed to the prefects. and regional health agencies (ARS).
The authorities are also worried about potential actions carried out by “anti-vaccine activists” and “terrorist acts”, BFMTV also learned from several corroborating sources.
Police officers mobilized
Public security police officers will be mobilized in particular to escort the trucks or cars, unmarked or screen-printed, which will transport these vaccines. If necessary, they can have air support with the deployment of drones under the control of administrative and judicial authorities.
Three missions will be assigned to the police: securing the transport by following the routes taken by the carriers either visibly in order to deter any malicious acts, or in a discreet manner to identify suspicious actions and thus do intelligence. Securing vaccine storage and information sites as well as on-site intervention in the event of an alert complete its prerogatives.
The police directors of each department have also asked their services to investigate to determine if there are more vulnerable points in order to quickly correct them if necessary.
Concerning carriers, these will be approved and professional carriers, bound by secrecy. They will have to change their route for the delivery of vaccines every day. Finally, no stop on the highway will be possible in order to avoid any risk.
For its part, the pharmaceutical group Pfizer also indicates that it is participating in the securing of vaccine doses by notably using thermal sensors equipped with GPS in each thermal container. Their exact location as well as the storage temperature will be known and controlled remotely in order to detect any anomalies in the transport chain.
“It is a huge logistical challenge, the government is planning 11 platforms that will transport to nursing homes and a hundred relay hospitals for structures that welcome the elderly”, explains to our branch Nathalie Coutinet, health economist at the he Sorbonne Paris-Nord University.
This logistical challenge is also made more difficult by the way the vaccine is stored. It must in fact be stored between 2 and 8 degrees after freezing for the time of transport, which must not exceed 12 hours. In addition, it cannot be stored for more than five days thereafter.
By Mélanie Vacchio and Hugues Garnier