Is it the slow rise of a silent epidemic? In mid-July, monkeypox infected – at least – 912 people in France. This is 335 more than a week earlier (+58%).
Underdiagnosis of contaminations
“At least”, because “underdiagnosis is usual in the case of infectious diseases”, reminds us the Director General of Health, Jérôme Salomon.
In total, nearly 12,000 contaminations by “monkeypox” have been confirmed in the past two months, most of them in Europe. The WHO has announced an emergency meeting for July 21.
In France, Santé Publique France decided at the beginning of July to expand the vaccination campaign, in a tense context in the hospital, under the pressure of the Covid, episodes of high heat, and leave for caregivers.
The initial contaminations mainly occurred among men who had 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, to vaccinate only the groups supposedly most at risk. Namely, “homosexuals, multi-partner transsexual people, people in a situation of prostitution and people working in places of sexual consumption”.
While recalling that monkeypox is not a “homosexual” disease, nor a sexually transmitted disease: anyone can be contaminated, most often by close contact (skin, mucous membranes, etc.) with a patient, but also by Aerial.
Vaccination appointments were supposed to be available as early as this week. But many testimonials 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 I didn’t know what to do. He does not have access to this vaccine”, gets angry Bastien, 29 years old.
73 centers offer vaccination
Vaccination against monkeypox is currently only possible in one of the 73 centers – usually hospitals – in France, including 20 in the Paris region.
On Twitter, testimonials to this effect are legion. Romain, on France Info, says he was unable to get an appointment: “I had no answer via phone numbers or emails. I decided to pass physically [à l’hôpital] to try to find a solution. “In vain: he was asked to wait … with dozens of others, that a slot is available.
No vaccination in rural areas
Edouard, he is anxious: “I am eligible, but beyond the impossibility of finding a niche, I live in a rural area. But for the moment, vaccination is only possible in large hospitals, in town. But I don’t have a car, and would prefer to be vaccinated in a pharmacy, for example. »
Health professionals, for whom this monkeypox epidemic is very time-consuming, are also sorry that only doctors can vaccinate, only in certain places. As a result, the current situation, which the ministry recognizes:
There may be waiting times for making an appointment and for the injection of the vaccine in the coming days
The General Directorate of Health
7500 doses of vaccines available
More than 7,500 doses of vaccine have been made available initially. But it is still necessary that the logistics and the workforce follow, in the middle of the summer period. The High Authority for Health ensures that all eligible people can be vaccinated, despite these difficulties related to the implementation of the device.
Martin (assumed name) managed to obtain 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 several infected people, some of whom are quite seriously affected, with unbearable pain, ”he says. “Knowing that it takes two doses, most of the time, and that it’s not 100% effective, it’s calming! “, 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., on 0 801 90 80 69 (free, anonymous and confidential call and services).