The French vaccine priorities for the covid-19, recently published by the HAS, that you can find here are presented as ethical and compassionate with regard to EHPADs, “because of the particular vulnerability” of their residents.
So much concern for our elders surprises me a little, after the near abandonment in which they were left during the first wave of the pandemic. Which made me wonder about the origin of this choice of priorities…
In fact, they are directly inspired by the WHO recommendations, behind which the French government takes refuge (see page 37 of strategie de vaccination HAS, ) which only speaks – very edifyingly – of fairness, legitimacy and equality in the allocation of doses, and of “respect for rights”, for “human well-being”, etc. What I find actually rather worrying: why insist so much on what should go without saying?
These recommendations have been declined by the various governments, with sometimes interesting specificities:
• thus in France, curiously, EHPAD residents have been given top priority, while the WHO recommends including only health professionals from these establishments at the outset
Why ? Have they been asked for their opinion?
• In addition in France, they do not mention in the priorities the teachers, the police officers and the officials “essential to the critical functioning of the State” (which includes ministerial staff), although they are cited by the WHO. in the event of “moderate” availability of vaccines, and that Germany itself has chosen these categories as priorities
• Another interesting case is that of the USA, described at length here :are the priorities suggested by the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University, largely taken over by the government, including the “ethnic minorities” (African Americans and Latinos), by virtue of a higher risk for them of being infected, which would justify putting them as a priority to ensure “justice and equity”
Why ? Have they been asked for their opinion? Would they be okay with being once again the “guinea pigs” they once were for previous vaccinations?
• Strange, also in the USA, the fact that all vaccination operations are led by the military, and that the police and security officers will not be vaccinated as a priority, although they have been for all other previous vaccines
• Even more strange, still in the USA, the fact that the disabled and the mentally ill were considered to be included in the priorities, along with ethnic minorities, which is described here : CHS-vaccine-allocation .
This annoyingly recalls another era, that of the Third Reich, when the first people declared “unworthy of life”, and euthanized, were those who were intellectually retarded or mentally ill, long before the Jews. This also “justified” the experiments that were carried out on them at the time by official doctors, covered by the government …
But let’s go back to France
Why did they include EHPAD residents as a first priority, instead of including only their caregivers, as the WHO recommends? While we know that vaccines are generally not very effective with the elderly (immunosenescence) and that these people may suffer side effects, possibly serious, which they will not tolerate well?
Where is the risk / benefit balance?
I am afraid that the only explanation for this choice is that this population of nursing homes, well controlled by their caregivers and not very susceptible to “resistance”, constitutes an ideal group of guinea pigs to test the different vaccines and their effects. possibly deleterious, while sufficient time was not taken to test them before throwing them in nature All this well wrapped in a packaging of “compassion”