We must continue to force caregivers to be vaccinated against Covid-19, the High Health Authority (HAS) ruled on Friday, whose opinion is crucial in the midst of a debate on the advisability of allowing non-vaccinated people to resume their activity. The HAS, whose opinions serve as the basis for the government’s public health decisions, says it is “in favor of maintaining the obligation to vaccinate against (the) Covid-19 for personnel working in health and medico-social establishments”. French caregivers – doctors, nurses … – who work in hospitals or in nursing homes, and more generally the employees of these health establishments, have been obliged since last year to be vaccinated against Covid.
A certain number, admittedly a very small minority, are therefore prohibited from exercising their activity, because they are not vaccinated. But the last few weeks have been marked by an upsurge in debate, particularly in the political sphere, over whether to reinstate them. Proponents of reintegration argue that Covid vaccines have lost much of their effectiveness against disease transmission, although they remain protective on an individual level against severe forms.
Not on the agenda
In this context, the opinion of the HAS is of great importance, because the parliamentarians have just decided on Thursday that a possible reintegration of the caregivers would take place as soon as the authority gives its agreement. But this green light is not on the agenda: “The data are not such as to call into question this vaccination obligation today”, judges the HAS.
This highlights the current large number of contaminations in France, linked to the BA.5 lineage of the Omicron variant, and is against the argument that vaccines no longer have any collective interest. Even if the vaccines have largely lost their effectiveness against contamination, it has not completely disappeared, in particular in the months following a booster dose, judges the authority. The obligation to be vaccinated therefore promotes “better protection of people treated or accompanied, first and foremost the most vulnerable”, concludes the HAS.