Covid-19: health protocol, targeted vaccination… what to expect at the start of the school year?

Covid-19 continues to circulate around the world, including in France. With the return to school and the approach of autumn with its cooler temperatures, vigilance and preventive measures are required.

Could the Covid-19 pandemic surprise us again? During the summer, the circulation of the virus increased, which surprised vacationers. If this increase in the epidemic remains moderate, it still requires vigilance.

According to the latest report from the Public Health of France (SPF), published on August 24, the incidence of the virus remains low. However, the National Public Health Agency noted an increase in the number of emergency room visits with suspected Covid-19 between August 14 and 20 by about +41% compared to the previous week.

SOS Médecins medical services for suspected Covid are also growing by 41% week on week. For the period from 14 to 20 August, the incidence rate is 18.2 confirmed cases per 100,000 inhabitants and therefore remains low. The increase in the spread of Covid-19 applies to all regions of metropolitan France. However, the SPF clarifies that most of the newly reported infections come from very busy tourist regions.

Respect for barrier gestures

“The current situation requires us to remain vigilant, and the existing monitoring systems allow us to assess its development. With the currently observed low incidence rate, it is not unusual to observe fluctuations or phenomena of localized active circulation, which will not necessarily lead to significant waves, ”the French Health Service explained the situation in its point of view.

Faced with these indicators, barrier gestures must be respected. While isolation of positive Covid cases is no longer mandatory, it is still highly recommended. Wearing a mask is recommended, especially for frail people or in crowded places.

At present, the surveillance system for Covid-19 has been optimized and is close to the influenza surveillance system. However, “it is planned that in the fall (…) the system will be reconfigured to optimally cope with increased risks,” said Bridget Autran, president of the Committee for Monitoring and Predicting Health Risks (Covars), in a message. interview with Liberation.

new vaccination campaign

In addition, the government has already announced the organization of a new vaccination campaign in the fall. It is due to be launched on October 17 and will be associated with the influenza virus. This applies in particular to people at risk, namely people over 65, people suffering from comorbidities, people with weakened immune systems or even pregnant women, and they will remain free.

“The priority is to understand the new variant and prepare for the vaccination campaign,” said Bridget Authran, referring to the EG.5.A variant, nicknamed Eris, which could become the majority. Moreover, the new variant BA.2.86, closely monitored by WHO, has not yet been discovered in France.

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