Faced with criticism of the policy of the health authorities, the Minister of Health, François Braun, assured, Wednesday July 27, that France had “reacted extremely quickly” and had no “not late” in its response to the surge in monkeypox cases.
“Don’t panic, we reacted extremely quickly”declared Mr. Braun on Franceinfo, while LGBT + associations point “lack of preparation” of the government in the face of the virus. “France was one of the first countries in the world to recommend and authorize preventive vaccination. We weren’t late at all.”further defended the Minister of Health.
Regarding vaccination, Mr. Braun said that France “will increase in power” : health students, retired doctors and nurses added to the list of personnel authorized to vaccinate, according to an order published on Wednesday in the Official newspaper.
“Very large” vaccine stock
The 118 vaccination centers opened in the country “allows you to vaccinate without any problem with a largely sufficient number of doses”said the Minister of Health, who provides for the opening of additional appointments ” in the coming days “. “We have destocked 42,000 doses, 32,000 are already available, for 7,000 people vaccinated”, he said. Mr Braun said 250,000 people were identified as ” at risk “with also “sex workers” and “carers”.
Monkeypox: François Braun assures that there is a “very large stock” of vaccine doses… https://t.co/vN01ZrwdGT
The deployment of vaccination has accelerated in Ile-de-France, where half of the 1,749 confirmed cases have been detected. The first center dedicated to the monkeypox vaccine opened on Tuesday in Paris. The stock of smallpox vaccines is “very substantial”but its magnitude is ” top secret “ because “smallpox is recognized as a biological weapon”explained the Minister during the interview.
Cash “more than 500,000 Grindr users [une application de rencontres gay] in France, the more sex workers, the more health professionals” and two doses of vaccine needed, the ecologist Mélanie Vogel asked him in the Senate, during the session of questions to the government: “Do we have between 600,000 and a million doses? If so, why is it blocking? If not, when can we get enough, how much does it cost, (…) spend a lot of money on “those people” (…) does that bother you a bit? »
WHO asks to reduce the number of sexual partners
Assuring that “Anyone wishing to be vaccinated against monkeypox will be”the Minister reiterated that he could not “not communicate on the overall number of doses” seen the ” top secret “. For the diagnosis of the disease, the sometimes necessary biological tests may be reimbursed by health insurance, as recommended by the High Authority for Health, via “a decree published by the end of the week”he said.
The World Health Organization (WHO), for its part, on Wednesday clearly advised the group most affected by the disease – men who have sex with men – to reduce the number of sexual partners. The best way to protect yourself “is to reduce the risk of becoming exposed” to the disease, explained the Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, during a press briefing in Geneva.
“For men who have sex with men, it also means, for now, reducing the number of your sexual partners and exchanging information with any new partners to be able to contact them” in the event of the appearance of symptoms, explained the Dr Tedros, who triggered his organization’s highest level of alert on Saturday in an attempt to contain the disease.
More than 18,000 cases worldwide, including 70% in Europe
More than 18,000 cases of monkeypox have been detected worldwide since the beginning of May outside endemic areas in Africa. The disease has been reported in 78 countries so far and 70% of cases are concentrated in Europe and 25% in the Americas, said the boss of the WHO. Five people have died from the disease – all in Africa – and about 10% of cases require hospital admission to try to ease the pain patients are experiencing.
“This message of reducing the number of partners comes from the communities themselves”, explained Andy Seale, to the WHO. Mr Seale acknowledges that this recommendation cannot be effective over a long period of time and also that it must be accompanied by accurate information on symptoms, tests and easy access to a doctor in case of doubt to s isolate as soon as possible.
Monkeypox is not currently considered a sexually transmitted disease and anyone can contract it. Direct skin-to-skin contact but also infected sheets or clothing are vectors of transmission of the disease. The WHO also strongly emphasizes the need to avoid any stigmatization of a specific community, which could lead its members to hide the disease and not seek treatment.