Is it the slow rise of a silent epidemic? In mid-July, Monkeypox has infected at least 912 people in France. This is 335 more than a week before (+58%).
Underdiagnosis of contamination
“At least”, because “Underdiagnosis is common in the case of infectious diseases”, recalls the Director General of HealthJerome Solomon.
In total, nearly 12,000 “monkeypox” infections have been confirmed in the last two months, most of them in Europe. The WHO has announced an emergency meeting for July 21.
In France, Santé Publique France decided in early July to extend the vaccination campaign, in a tense context in the hospital, under the pressure of Covid, episodes of great heat and departure of the caregiver.
The initial contaminations occurred mainly among men who have sex with men. Secondary infections could then affect women, children, etc.
Vaccination only open to “at risk” groups
The health authorities have decided, for the time being, vaccinate only groups supposedly at higher risk. Namely, “homosexuals, transsexual people with multiple partners, people in a situation of prostitution and people who work in places of sexual consumption.”
Although we must remember that monkeypox is not a “homosexual” disease, nor is it a sexually transmitted disease: anyone can become infected, most of the time through close contact (skin, mucous membranes, etc.) with a patient, but also through airway.
vaccination quotes It was supposed to be available this week.. But many testimonies warn of the difficulties in accessing the vaccine: “I tried everything: Doctolib, telephone, email… in vain. I ended up making an appointment with my GP who told me he didn’t know what to do. He does not have access to this vaccine”, Bastien, 29, gets angry.
73 centers offer vaccination
Vaccination against monkeypox it is only possible today in one of the 73 centers, usually hospitals, in Franceof which 20 in the Paris region.
On Twitter, the testimonials in this regard are innumerable. Roman, on FranceInfo, recounts not being able to get an appointment: “I had no response through phone numbers or emails. I decided to go physically [à l’hôpital] to try to find a solution. “In vain: he was asked to wait…with dozens more, for a slot to become available.
No vaccination in rural areas
Edouard is anxious: “I am eligible, but beyond the impossibility of finding a niche, I live in a rural area. But at the moment, vaccination is only possible in large hospitals, in the city. But I don’t have a car, and I would prefer to get vaccinated in a pharmacy, for example. »
Health professionals, for whom this monkeypox epidemic has been going on for a long time, also lament that only doctors can vaccinate, only in certain places. Consequently, the current situation, which the ministry acknowledges:
There may be waiting times to make an appointment and for the vaccine injection in the coming days
The General Directorate of Health
7500 doses of vaccines available
More than 7,500 doses of vaccine have initially been made available. But it is still necessary for logistics and labor to continue, in the middle of the summer period. The High Authority for Health ensures that all eligible people can be vaccinateddespite these difficulties related to the implementation of the device.
Martin (not his real name) managed to get the precious injection. Without rejoicing: “First of all, I’m rather an exception… I have several friends who have even given up trying. But I also know a number of infected people, some of whom are quite affected, in excruciating pain,” he says. “Knowing that two doses are needed, most of the time, and that it is not 100% effective, is relaxing!” he laments.
A toll-free number has been launched for France: Monkeypox Info Service, accessible every day from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., at 0 801 90 80 69 (free, anonymous and confidential calls and services).