Should caregivers suspended at the end of 2021 because not vaccinated against Covid-19 be reinstated? In response to a referral from the Ministry of Health, the High Authority for Health (HAS) recommends maintaining the vaccination obligation.
At a time when the Covid-19 epidemic seems (a little) to calm down, a question arises: should caregivers who have refused to be vaccinated against Covid-19 be allowed to return to work? In response to a referral from the Ministry of Health, the High Authority for Health considers that there is no reason to question the vaccination obligation and recommends maintaining this obligation. “It concerns those who have frequent and close contact with vulnerable people and thus contributes to their protection,” explains the High Authority in its opinion.
“Data from Public Health France show that the increase in the incidence rate of Covid-19 is starting to slow but remains at a very high level, with a marked increase in hospital admissions and deaths. In view of the dynamic epidemic context, the uncertainties about the evolution of the epidemic in the coming months, and the effectiveness of a complete vaccination schedule in reducing the risk of being infected and transmitting the disease, HAS considers that the data are not such as to call into question the vaccination obligation of personnel in the health and medico-social sectors” concludes the HAS.
950 nurses and 75 doctors and pharmacists would be affected
Since September 15, 2021, all professionals working in the health and medico-social sectors (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc.) are subject to the vaccination obligation against Covid-19. On October 16, 2021, approximately 0, 3% of hospital professionals, caregivers and non-caregivers have thus been suspended (i.e. prohibited from working, without pay) because they were not vaccinated against infection by the SARS-CoV coronavirus -2.
In total, around 950 nurses and 75 doctors and pharmacists would be affected by this question, according to the Scientific Council.
What other authorities think
For the National Academy of Medicinethe answer is very clear:reintegrating caregivers not vaccinated against Covid-19 would be a fault. (…) [Cette réintégration] compromise the climate of trust and cohesion that must exist between its members and with patients. It would endanger fragile patients. Concerning only a very limited number of caregivers, it would not solve the current difficulties of operation of the hospital.“
The opinion is more mixed on the side of the Scientific Council who says “reserved on such reinstatement“, in particular because a carer “must give priority to all gestures and procedures so as not to contaminate the often fragile patients he takes care of and to limit the occurrence of clusters“. The question is not yet settled.
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