5th wave Covid-19: 3rd dose, gatherings, teleworking…. What does the Scientific Council propose?

The Scientific Council recommends a third dose at 6 months for all adults to quickly boost our immunity and cope with the fifth base. But also to return to barrier gestures, teleworking and screening.

While a Health Defense Council dedicated to the Covid-19 health crisis will be held tomorrow, the Scientific Council has published a new opinion published on November 22.

“This fifth wave is off to a flying start”, warned Sunday at the microphone of Europe 1 Attal. If for the moment, new measures have not been taken, unlike our European neighbors, the incidence rate already exceeds 200 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 24 French departments.

The 5th wave associated with the Delta variant, whose level of transmission is significantly higher than the Alpha variant, “began at the beginning of October in metropolitan France and has accelerated markedly over the last few days, probably in relation to climate change and its consequences on lifestyles”, notes the Scientific Council. Indeed, it is “the weather effect“. When it’s cold, we gather more in closed places, and we ventilate the rooms less when more should be done. The result is that this human promiscuity promotes the circulation of the virus and contagions.

It is reflected in an increase in the incidence (138.8 per 100,000 inhabitants currently, in particular among 20-50 year olds) and in the number of new daily cases (between 15 and 20,000) with an increase for the moment. limited number of new hospitalizations (around 500 per day).

And, underlines the Scientific Council, “the impact on the healthcare system will be marked again from December 2021 for a period whose duration is difficult to predict. The level of hospitalizations varies according to the scenarios, but can -to be raised”.

A booster dose for all adults 6 months after the last injection

“Only 3.4% of 50-59 year olds and 5.5% of 60-64 year olds have received a booster dose to date”, notes the Scientific Council. It therefore reinforces what is already planned from 1is December: lowering of the eligibility age for the vaccine booster to 50 years, with an interval of 6 months. This makes it possible to “reduce by around 40 to 50% the number of hospitalizations and admissions in critical care”, supports the opinion. In addition, the Scientific Council suggests integrating it into the health pass “under the same conditions as for people ≥ 65 years old, but with an appropriate time frame.”

But the Scientific Council wants to go further. While the HAS for its part advocated the booster vaccination for those over 40, it considers that it is also necessary consider it for the entire adult population. A solution which is also already proposed by the city of Nice.

Reinforced barrier and teleworking gestures

In addition to vaccination, the Scientific Council recommends controlling the epidemic through barrier gestures, which we have tended to neglect in recent months. He is in favor of the introduction of the mask in gathering places such as Christmas markets. Also strongly recommended: hand washing, ventilation of public and private enclosed spaces and the use of CO2 detectors to indicate when the air is not sufficiently renewed and therefore loaded with virus.

Another measure, already recommended by the President of the Scientific Council a few days ago on France Inter: telecommuting. “With the level of vaccination that we have, we have the capacity to cope with the fifth wave. As long as we use all the tools in the toolbox […] What do we have left in the toolbox that we haven’t used enough yet? Telecommuting is one of the points. “ In its opinion, the Scientific Council reaffirms the interest “of expanding teleworking”.

Élisabeth Borne, moreover called this Monday, November 22, companies to put the emphasis on compliance with the health protocol. “We must re-mobilize ourselves on this respect for barrier gestures, put the mask back on in meetings, when we are in shared spaces. It is very important at a time when we see that the epidemic is starting again.” Asked about a possible return to forced teleworking, she indicated that it was not possible “to exclude in principle answers for the continuation”.

Screening for all

The Scientific Council also recommends strengthening reactive screening in schools. But also to strengthen using diagnostic tests as soon as possible when symptoms appear, and this even in vaccinated subjects. “It is necessary to establish a national communication calling for vigilance and encouraging the use of tests at the slightest symptom, in particular in vaccinated subjects who now constitute the majority population.”

Keeping the focus on the unvaccinated

According to the Scientific Council, we must finally “maintain or even strengthen the primary vaccination efforts, since unvaccinated people have a 10 times higher risk of hospitalization and stay in critical care. “The means already in place -” going to “towards the elderly and the most isolated, must therefore be reinforced.

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