With changes on the health protocol front, permits have been deactivated for islanders who have not received their third injection and have not contracted the Covid-19 virus in the past four months. Vaccination campaign (still) on hold on the island

“FifthYour vaccination card has expired. A reminder is required. ” This message, received by several thousand Corsica residents in recent days via the TousAntiCovid app. Like a booster syringe or a cleaver to anyone who hasn’t had a third shot of the vaccine against them COVID-19.

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Because since February 15, the rules have changed (again): for the vaccine permit to remain valid, it is now necessary to take the booster dose four months after the second injection and not seven months as before.

According to the Regional Health Agency (ARS), the entry permit has been deactivated for less than 29,000 Corsica nationals who did not receive a reminder and did not have the virus in the past four months. In other words, more access to restaurants, cinemas, gyms…

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“These people can still get the pass if they have received their booster dose by February 22, because there is a one-week grace period.Philip Mortel, chief of staff at ARS explains. This third injection is important for better protection against the virus, as it generates a level of antibodies 10 to 20 times higher. Today, nine out of ten hospitalized patients in Corsica do not have a complete vaccination schedule.

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The island also has a fairly low third-dose vaccination coverage rate, at 49%, according to French Public Health, versus 57% for the national average. For the general population, Corsica ranks first in the least fortified areas.

The new rules for using the vaccination card.  -ARS

Between weary and distrust of government health policy and skepticism about the vaccine or the prospect of a vaccination card that could be lifted at the end of March, depending on the development of the situation and on the advice of the Scientific Council, these thousands of islanders chose not to receive a reminder.

‘We have a harder time persuading’

“If it can contribute to herd immunity, given the prevalence of cases we’ve seen in recent weeks, the Omicron variant, although less virulent, is transmitted despite vaccination and has discredited somewhat, Bruno Manzi, president of the College of Physicians at Haute-Corse notes. Even if the vaccine is shown to prevent severe forms of the disease, it may prevent people from completing their vaccination schedule. It is difficult for us to be convinced of its benefits, especially since crisis management, which is more and more political and less and less healthy, maintains a certain amount of distrust and fuels a form of protest.

Meanwhile, the epidemic continues to gain ground on the island. In its latest weekly update, the ARS certainly reported a lower infection rate — 1,411 cases per 100,000 population, a 32% drop in one week — but the viral cycle was still significant. The island remains among the areas where the infection rate remains the highest. The highest infection rate was observed among those younger than 15 years – 1957 cases per 100,000 population – as well as the highest positivity rate (27%).

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15 new deaths

While the number of new hospital admissions decreased (54), health authorities reported 15 new deaths in the past seven days. Yesterday, 85 patients were hospitalized in Corsica with an average age of 75 years. Eleven people were cared for in the intensive care unit. According to the ARS, 83% of critical care patients are not vaccinated or have not received the booster dose.

At the same time, in vaccination centers, new injections are made in drops and liquids: 4,103 booster doses were certainly given last week, but only 245 of the novices took the initiative by receiving their first dose.

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