A new dose of vaccine open to all, a variant that bursts into the territory, a fifth wave that is gaining momentum. There is no shortage of concerns and questions about the Covid-19. The announcement of a third dose, known as a “booster”, at the end of November by Olivier Véran, is also accompanied by its share of questions. The first of them: will the number of doses be sufficient in view of the demand in the coming days?
This turns out to be very high according to the figures of the appointments made on Doctolib. 615,000 were taken on average each day on the platform over the last week. And nearly 300,000 booster doses are injected every day. Demand is therefore strong, but still far from the peaks of July when the injection was doubled every week. The figure is also insufficient with regard to the objective of 3 million recalls per week set by the Ministry of Health.
If the current rate is much lower, it is in particular because a good number of vaccination centers and pharmacies lack of doses. The health authorities, taken by surprise, must organize themselves both in terms of logistics and the distribution of vaccines.
“The next Pfizer allocations are modest and will not honor the continued scheduling of reminder appointments in Pfizer. This decrease will be offset by a significant delivery this week of Moderna in flow B”, notes David Lisnard , mayor of Cannes (Alpes-Maritimes) and president of the Association of Mayors of France, on his Facebook account on Wednesday.
Widely used since the start of the vaccination campaign – more than 78 million doses of Pfizer have been injected, against 11 million for Moderna – the Pfier-BioNTech vaccine seems to be lacking in many vaccination centers. But, according to the figures on stocks and the reopening of nearly 300 vaccination centers – they had gone from 1,600 in May to 1,100 in recent weeks – these shortages should be gradually absorbed.
More than 60 million doses by July
Traveling to Angoulême on Thursday, Prime Minister Jean Castex assured that “4.5 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been ordered by pharmacists and doctors”. In total, stocks in France are estimated at around thirty million doses.
According to the CovidTracker website, which is based on data from the Ministry of Health, several million doses should arrive in the coming weeks according to the planned deliveries. Thus, 10 million additional doses of Pfizer have been ordered and must be delivered by January 2022. More than 2 million of them will be received on December 19. This could speed up the pace of the recall campaign, aided by the opening of new slots on Doctolib – around 300,000 in the next two weeks according to the platform – and the mobilization of vaccination centers.
Longer term, according to the Ministry of Health, 60 million doses of Pfizer are expected by July 2022. What, according to the government, be able to vaccinate the entire population concerned within “7 to 8 weeks”, or 34 million eligible people by end December.