Local doctors call for compulsory vaccination amid fifth wave

A group of doctors in Monaco and the Alpes Maritimes has signed a petition calling on the French government to mandate Covid vaccinations for everyone over the age of 18 as hospitalisations reach saturation levels amidst the ‘fifth wave’.

The unprecedented petition, published by Nice Matin, has been signed by 18 doctors from public hospitals and private clinics in the region.

“We are very worried about the future,” Dr. Jérôme Barrière, of the Polyclinique Saint-Jean in Cagnes-sur-Mer and instigator of the petition, told the newspaper.

Around 90% of the eligible population in France have received at least one Covid vaccination, however, that leaves five million unvaccinated adults who, say health professionals, are at risk of being hospitalised with a severe form of Covid.

“Today, (the unvaccinated) make up the majority of patients in critical care, with a median age of 60 years,” said Doctor Barrière. “I think everyone understands today that it is not the flu.”

The doctor, who specialises in cancer treatment, says that “healthcare systems are once again close to saturation” and other patients are suffering the consequences.

“In our establishment, for example, we have reserved an entire floor for Covid patients. How do we hospitalise patients with cancer or other infectious diseases? If everyone were vaccinated, we would be able to manage the influx of patients.”

In addition to calling for mandatory vaccination for everyone over the age of 18, the petition also calls for urgent action by the government to provide air purifiers in all public places such as schools, cinemas and businesses. “The vaccine is necessary, but not sufficient. If this type of measure is not applied, we will remain slaves to new variants for a very long time,” said Doctor Jérôme Barrière.

In Monaco, hospitalisations have risen quickly and, as of Wednesday 15th December, 11 people were being treated at the Princess Grace Hospital, including seven residents, while four additional non-residents were in intensive care. Wednesday also saw the largest number of daily Covid cases recorded in Monaco since the pandemic began – 63. Meanwhile, only 65% of the population is fully vaccinated.

In the Alpes-Maritimes, hospitalisations at the end of October 2021 amounted to 34, compared to 197 on Sunday, an increase of around 600%, including 37 patients in intensive care. This has retriggered the ‘white plan’, which allows hospitals to reorganise spaces to include more beds, transfer non-urgent patients to other services, and postpone or changenon-urgent operations. France has an overall vaccination coverage of 90.7%, which means around five million people are still unvaccinated.

The petition, in part, reads:

“We are sadly seeing once again that a fifth wave of Covid is leading to a significant and worrying increase in hospital burden across the country. Currently, we observe that the proportion of unvaccinated patients treated in our establishments poses a health risk to the entire population, because we will again run out of beds or staff to take care of other pathologies. The health workforce is exhausted, demoralised and we must collectively do everything to preserve and support them.

Vaccination has proven to have an overwhelming benefit/risk ratio in its favour. The emergence of the new Omicron variant should also lead us to be extremely cautious. Early data suggests that only a complete vaccination schedule (three doses) will provide strong protection against the risk of developing a severe form (of Covid).

We therefore urge unvaccinated people to go as soon as possible to a vaccination centre, to their doctor, to their pharmacy, in order to benefit from a first dose of the vaccine.

If no signal of acceleration of the first vaccine dose is observed very quickly, we ask the State to take its responsibilities and put in place the conditions of an obligation to vaccinate adults, as is envisaged now in several European countries.

Finally, we stress that while vaccination is necessary, it is not sufficient. It is essential that an air quality treatment policy be quickly associated with it, as the airborne risk has now been formally identified as the main mode of spread of the virus.”

The doctors who signed the petition are: Pdt of CME Hôpital Princesse GRACE, MONACO; Dr Philippe AYGALENQ, Pdt CME clinic du PALAIS, GRASSE; Dr Jérôme BARRIERE, Pdt CME Health Center SAINT JEAN, CAGNES-SUR-MER; Dr Frédéric BRACCINI, Pdt CME clinic SAINT FRANCOIS, NICE; Dr Philippe CAMARASSA, Pdt CME Institut A. TZANCK CARDIO pole, SAINT-LAURENT-DU-VAR; Dr Frédéric COLOMB, Pdt CME Center Hospitalier GRASSE; Dr Olivier GASTAUD, Pdt CME clinic PARC IMPERIAL, NICE; Dr Philippe FOLLANA, Pdt CME CENTER ANTOINE LACASSAGNE, NICE; Dr Muriel JOURDAN, CEO of CME Les SOURCES private hospital, NICE; Dr Dominique LANVIN, Pdt CME Arnault TZANCK private hospital, MOUGINS; Pr Jacques LEVRAUT, Pdt CME CHU NICE; Dr Mathieu LIBERATORE, Dr Abbo LORENZO, Pdte CME Center Hospitalier MENTON; Dr Vincent NGUYEN, Pdt CME OXFORD clinic, CANNES; Dr Sébastien NOVELLAS, Pdt CME Institut A.TZANCK, SAINT-LAURENT-DU-VAR; Dr Camille PATURAUD, Pdte CME SANTA MARIA, NICE; Dr Bruno PEBEYRE, Pdt CME Center Hospitalier CANNES; Dr Sorin VARTOLOMEI, Pdt CME clinic SAINT GEORGE, NICE; Dr Benjamin VERRIERE, Pdt CME Center Hospitalier, ANTIBES

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