Not yet vaccinated? Your doctor may find out soon and contact you to discuss it.

The government is preparing a decree for treating physicians to contact their unvaccinated patients. This approach, which is sensitive in terms of personal data, is tolerated by the CNIL, with certain reservations.

Doctors, future spokespersons for the coronavirus vaccine campaign? This is the meaning of a draft decree that the government is preparing. Noting that the pace of vaccination has been slowing down for several weeks, the executive wants to call on city medicine to pick up people who have still not entered this medical process.

The strategy as it is emerging today consists of establishing, for each attending physician, the list of its patient population and determining who is vaccinated (or is being vaccinated) and who is not. It is then up to practitioners to contact those who have not yet received the slightest injection, in order to make them aware of the benefits of vaccination during a pandemic.

A vial containing the Pfizer vaccine. // Source: Unsplash / Eugene Chystiakov (cropped photo)

This draft decree comes at a time when a double movement raises fears of the emergence of a new wave of contamination, which could lead the executive to take measures similar to those taken during previous confinements. On the one hand, fewer and fewer people are being vaccinated, on the other hand, the Delta variant is proving to be very virulent. According to statistics from health authorities, the so-called L452R mutation, which includes the Delta variant, is experiencing very strong growth in France: the percentage of tests with the presence of this mutation has increased from a little over 7% to around from June 20 to 42.6% in early July.

The good news is that vaccines are still effective against this variant. The problem is that this vaccination, in fact, is falling: vaccination coverage is only a little over 37% as of July 5 (counting only people who have received all the adequate doses). However, daily injections have gone from 400,000 in May to around 150,000 today for the first doses. Even among the elderly, who are more vulnerable, a ceiling has been reached, around 80%. It is this double tendency which, obviously, leads the government to seek to accentuate the sensitization of the public, by mobilizing the attending physicians.

The Delta variant progresses and the rate of vaccination decreases

Calling on treating physicians can have a favorable, albeit difficult to measure, impact on the vaccination campaign: they generally maintain a bond of trust with their patients, because they are also family physicians who have been following them for a long time. It might not work with anti-vaccines, but with the undecided, there’s more wiggle room.

Given the sensitivity of this project, the National Commission for Informatics and Freedoms (Cnil) issued a deliberation. Indeed, this awareness campaign requires the consultation of lists of names of individuals containing personal data, but also, in fact, medical information (vaccinated status or not), which are by nature more sensitive.

What to motivate a refusal? On the contrary: the CNIL does not exceptionally oppose the constitution of lists of non-vaccinated patients for the benefit of physicians. As a general rule, the institution ” is not favorable “To this kind of approach, but it also takes into account the epidemic reality of the country:” the health context can justify this practice and specify the conditions to be respected She writes.

However, this tolerance is very limited. Thus, the CNIL asks that only voluntary treating physicians have access to the list of their unvaccinated patients, if they feel they need it to raise their awareness. She also pleads, obviously, for a transmission ” secure “Of these lists and requests their deletion by the doctor” at the end of the awareness campaign “.

The CNIL also recommends avoiding over-soliciting people who are hesitant, disinterested or resistant to vaccination. In fact, in addition to appealing to doctors, the awareness campaign must mobilize the National Health Insurance Fund (CNAM). To avoid duplication, the Cnam should focus on people who do not have attending physicians, recommends the Cnil.

If vaccination remains optional in the general population, an effort is made to ensure that it is as high as possible. // Source: Pixabay

Measures to push for vaccination

This decree is part of a series of measures aimed at making injections as easy as possible. It must be said that a certain race against time has begun, since the Delta variant develops during the summer period, and that the containment has been largely lifted. The holidays, the desire to re-taste the life before, and a vaccination that skates, appear as fertile ground for a new wave.

In recent weeks, several additional measures have been taken to try to counter this scenario: the time between two injections has been significantly reduced and it is possible to be vaccinated in two different places. It is also a question of imposing compulsory vaccination for nursing staff, especially in contact with fragile patients.

Compulsory vaccination of caregivers against the coronavirus has not yet been completed, but it appears to be in the process of being. Note that some hospital staff must undergo compulsory vaccination for certain diseases. Article L3111-4 of the public health code requires vaccination coverage against hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, polio and influenza. In some cases, especially in medical biology laboratories, it is also necessary to guard against typhoid fever.

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