French Considering Mandatory Flu Vaccination

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2009-06-01 13:42:33… Google translation of French Original:…   The secret plan against influenza A By MarieChristine TABET Le Journal du Dimanche Anticipating a return of the virus likely to fall, the government will spend nearly one billion euros to buy vaccines. Objective: To immunize all French. The authorities will announce in the fall if they choose to make the vaccine mandatory. “We are ready to operate in a very short time”, says on the Ministry of Health. Mexico has already forgotten the dark hours of swine influenza and Europe, his fears of a devastating epidemic. Yet, France is preparing an unprecedented battle for this fall, with the key, a vaccination compulsory for all French of more than 3 months. According to our records, the state wants to order 100 million doses of vaccine against influenza A three laboratories (GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi and Novartis). This stock is expected to face the worst of scenarios: a pandemic winter. In 1918, the Spanish flu was also halted in the spring before returning in the fall, killing 40 million people. But at the time, there was no vaccine … Manufacturers have just collect stem cells and initiate necessary these days in the manufacture of emergency doses. At the Ministry of Health, the meetings on the topic after another. Over the past ten days the timetable was accelerated.   The latest figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 15 510 cases in 53 countries and 99 deaths. Earlier this month, an outbreak in Japan autonomous, in someone who had not traveled, made up the tension a notch among the experts from WHO in Geneva. In France, the virus was even invited to the preparations for the 65th anniversary of the landings of 6 June An official of 54 years working for the U.S. administration was hospitalized in Caen. This is the 24th case recorded on the national soil. Target audiences? Friday evening, the government experts met at Matignon in interdepartmental meeting to refine the plan french. This is a campaign of unprecedented magnitude is being prepared … estimated to cost nearly one billion euros. For comparison, each year, health authorities invite some 9 million people, mainly adults over 65 years to be immunized against seasonal influenza. This time, by ordering 100 million doses vaccine for the future, the State is able, where massive return of the virus, protecting all the French. “We are ready to operate in a very short time”, says on the Ministry of Health. Unheard of.     In this scheme, doctors and nurses would be requisitioned. Businesses, governments, schools, day care would also be on a war footing. And according to Professor Anne Laude, CoDirector of the Health Law Institute at the University of Paris VDescartes, “nobody would have the right, except in the case of a medicalagainst, refusing to submit such a vaccination. Getting out of an individual, it would take the risk of contaminating others. ” In practice, to stop an epidemic, experts consider it sufficient to vaccinate 70 to 75% of the population. This would leave a margin of freedom to the most recalcitrant … Before reaching such a situation, the authorities may also choose to target specific audiences.   Compulsory vaccination: decision in the fall   The trauma left by several successive crises, blood contaminated the heat through the mad cow disease have made the policy very carefully. “Since 1993 we have established an expert group that has never stopped working on the subject of influenza, we were already better prepared for a pandemic of avian influenza, says JeanClaude Manuguerra, virologist at the Institut Pasteur, France has also a tradition and centralizing Jacobin which facilitates pace of a system of effective prevention. ”   The communication of such a program of mass vaccination will not be easy. “We are transparent, said a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, but in autumn we will know exactly how the virus evolves. We will build on three pillars: the masks, antivirals and vaccines. ” Vaccination, when it becomes mandatory, is not a trivial act, all the experts emphasize. We must evaluate the benefit of the measure against the possible risks. Accidents certainly uncommon for this type of vaccine, still exist. “In this kind of area, it is never quite cautious,” a close replica of the President of the Republic. The political decision always balance between two risks: to err on the side of caution, leaving the population to panic and to not be ready in time. Between laboratories, health authorities and the virus, a race against the clock is started.

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