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Many anti-Covid-19 vaccines administered around the world are recognized by the WHO, but France only allows four of them in its vaccination schedule. At the time when the bill on the vaccine pass is examined Tuesday in the Senate, the French abroad are multiplying the doses of serum to obtain the precious pass.
“We feel a little forgotten about this crisis management by our government,” laments Frédéric, French expatriate in the United Arab Emirates, contacted by France 24. There was first the impossibility of returning to France during the successive confinements linked to the pandemic, then the problems of converting foreign health passes into French health passes this summer. Today, the bill transforming the health pass into a vaccine pass examined on January 11 in the Senate, for implementation around January 17, is once again making French people abroad feverish. “We have no visibility on what will happen with this vaccination pass”, continues the resident of Abu Dhabi.
Encouraged by the French authorities to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in their country of residence, many French people living abroad have received vaccines administered by their host country, sera validated by the World Health Organization ( WHO). Problem, these injections are not necessarily recognized by the vaccination schedule set up by the French health authorities. However, without the four vaccines authorized by France – Pfizer, Moderna, Astra-Zeneca and Jansen -, no complete vaccination schedule, therefore no health pass. And by mid-January, there will be no vaccine pass either. “They let the French be vaccinated with Sinopharm [le vaccin chinois] instead of taking charge with vaccines recognized by the EU, deplores Bruno *, a French journalist living in Morocco. Suddenly, obtaining your French vaccination pass will still be a real challenge “.
Sinopharm, Sinovac, Sputnik, Covishield and consequences
Until then, expatriates returning to French soil vaccinated with Sinopharm, Sinovac [deux vaccins chinois], Sputnik [russe] or Covishield [indien] still had the possibility of presenting a negative antigen or PCR test to access places where the health pass was compulsory. But with the arrival in a few days of the vaccination pass, there will be no escape. Consequences, these French multiply the vaccine doses to enter the nails of the French state. “Whether it is two or three doses, it is always a hassle for people vaccinated with Sinopharm, notes Frédéric. In the United Arab Emirates, however, it is a vaccine which has been widely used since December 2020 and which is recognized by the WHO: To get my health pass, I therefore received two doses of Pfizer in addition to the two doses of Sinopharm that I had already been injected. To get my pass, will I need another dose of Pfizer? ”
This is the price that some expatriates agree to pay to return to France and have their vaccination pass. Back in France for the holiday season, Sophie, resident in Morocco, had to receive a dose of Pfizer in addition to the two doses of sinopharm already received. Despite the three vaccine doses received, the French health authorities told him that this dose of Pfizer was not considered a booster. “I have yet to receive another dose of Pfizer to have a complete vaccination schedule, although I already have three doses in my body. I will eventually see strange things growing on my body with all these vaccines”, jokes the youngster. thirty years old. Four, five, some expatriates have even received up to six doses to meet the French vaccination schedule in cases where the vaccine is neither recognized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) nor by the WHO, like the vaccine Russian Spunik.
Over-vaccination does not pose a health risk
Do these overaccinations pose a risk to the health or immunity of those who receive them? “No, responds clearly to France 24 Nathan Pfeiffer-Smadja, infectious disease specialist at the Bichat Hospital in Paris. These people are just unnecessarily overprotected. These multiple vaccinations do not pose a problem for health, and have no negative effect. on the immune system. They just have an immune system that’s very stimulated, which is never a problem in itself. ”
For many Internet users, these vaccine approval problems are more a matter of political and economic choices than of public health. “We publish the data on vaccines that reach us, and they are by nature limited, evolving, contradictory, because there are huge issues of a political, ideological, economic, societal nature (much more unfortunately than health and scientific) behind this vaccine “, notes on her Twitter account Monique Plaza, CNRS researcher at the Laboratory of Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience. “We see that it is not the multilateralism in the OMS fashion that wins, but rather every man for himself, analyzed Pascal Boniface in an article from France 24 of January 29, 2021. There is a North-South aspect to everything. quite visible. While there was a talk about the ‘common good’ vaccine, Westerners bought 90% of the doses of the two American vaccines. “
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These overaccinations are all the more damaging as some expatriates live in countries where vaccines are sometimes scarce. “The embassies should take charge of the vaccination campaign for its nationals, believes Bruno who lives in Morocco. The country offers the vaccine to all those who are on its soil, whether they are Moroccan citizens, foreign residents or ordinary foreigners of passage … But as a French expatriate, we have a feeling of guilt to take Pfizer vaccines to Moroccans. At a time when we know that it is imperative to have an effective and collective vaccination, the Africa should vaccinate its population as a priority and not part of foreigners. It is up to France to vaccinate its nationals, not Africa. ”
* First name voluntarily modified by the editorial staff to preserve anonymity