This opinion from the High Authority for Health, which will be followed by the government, will raise the question of the reintegration of unvaccinated caregivers, dismissed from hospitals and nursing homes during the pandemic.
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The High Authority for Health (HAS) recommends the end of the obligation to vaccinate against Covid-19 for health professionals, it said Thursday March 30 in a press release. However, the vaccine is still strongly recommended. Experts from the High Authority for Health believe that the Covid epidemic is at a sufficiently low level today. They also analyzed the vaccination rates: more than 86% of nursing staff took their first booster dose in nursing homes and they are nearly 89% among private doctors. A very high rate. As a reminder, since 2021, all caregivers – and more generally anyone working in a hospital environment – must be vaccinated against Covid to be able to practice their profession.
In the wake of this announcement, the Minister of Health François Braun indicated that the government “will follow the advice” of the HAS. “I will follow the advice of this scientific authority”he told AFP, adding that“a decree will be issued” to this end.
The HAS nevertheless calls on healthcare professionals to “taking responsibility”. Especially for those who work “with particularly vulnerable people”the High Authority for Health “strongly recommends that you continue to be vaccinated regularly”.
>>Covid-19: the High Authority for Health paves the way for the lifting of compulsory vaccination among caregivers
This now raises the question of the reintegration of unvaccinated caregivers, dismissed from hospitals and nursing homes during the pandemic. According to the Ministry of Health, just over 1,000 nurses are affected. The French Hospital Federation speaks of 4,000 people, including 500 nurses.
Vaccination is strongly recommended
Despite everything, the HAS recommends getting vaccinated against Covid and maintaining barrier gestures. She insists that “the lifting of a vaccination obligation for professionals does not call into question the interest of this vaccination, whether in the professional environment or in the general population.”
“We must continue to recommend vaccination, but we must no longer impose it by obligation” on health professionals, confirms Thursday on franceinfo Elisabeth Bouvet, the president of the Technical Commission on Vaccinations of the HAS. According to her“the epidemic situation is no longer the same”. When recommending compulsory vaccination more than a year and a half ago“vaccination coverage was not sufficient”, but today “Caregivers are almost all vaccinated”, she says.
Other vaccines recommended by the High Authority for Health, those against diphtheria, tetanus and poliomyelitis. However, a vaccine remains mandatory: that against hepatitis B.