Little information, secret data for defense: Vaccination against monkeypox or monkeypox is a dilemma that should not be. Martial Le Toullec, treasurer of the AIDES Bretagne association, expresses his concern at a situation “that lacks transparency”.
“Two months have passed without the state taking any action,” he protests. The first case, confirmed on May 19, 2022, initially seems to be spreading slowly. On June 21, there were 277 infected. It is assumed that no vaccination campaign is required. However, on July 19, 1,567 people were identified, “with 10 cases in Brittany,” specifies the activist.
The rapid spread is forcing authorities to change their minds. The vaccine has been expanded since July 8 to include sex workers, men who have sex with men and non-exclusive trans people. In Brittany, “the ARS has just told the CeGGIDs where to get vaccinated,” he explains. You must make an appointment at one of the 5 centers including Rennes. As of July 11, the situation for those affected was still very hazy.
I had the ARS then the CHU on the phone ajd. We can’t make an appointment but they have received exactly 0 doses so far and they literally have no idea when/how/how many they will receive…
— Cocktail mazal-tov????? (@VN_ZotAni) July 11, 2022
Vaccination delay and lack of doses
“I signed up this Monday, July 18, I’m on the wait list,” says Martial. “Ahead of me are a hundred people”. He does not know anyone in his entourage who has already had access to a vaccination center. “In Vannes I have a friend who can’t do it and doesn’t know how to do it”. He’s sorry that he can’t communicate anything, either within his club or to his relatives. “We have planned an action with the St-Malo CeGGID, but it will not take place until September,” explains the activist. “CeGGID is closing in Rennes this summer. We don’t know what to do, we have no information.
In the middle of summer and after a month of pride marches and celebrations, the fear is swelling. “I have priority, but I don’t know if I have an appointment before the end of the summer,” he specifies. “I don’t feel protected.” At the national level, AIDES is calling for “punch vaccination” so that those affected “can benefit from a full vaccination program before the end of the summer”.
A worrying stigma
“Vaccinating someone who has COVID-19 or monkeypox can be done by the same person,” Martial explains. “Except we don’t know how many doses are being distributed, ostensibly for secrecy.” If the cases have so far been “predominantly mild”, the ARS reports, it can lead to bandage pain. As a bonus, it is necessary to be strictly isolated in case of symptoms.
“Some have to take three weeks off, which leads to lower wages. I’m particularly concerned about the stigma issue.” Unlike COVID-19, which has no visible symptoms, monkeypox can present with skin rashes. As a bonus, positive cases must self-report their illness to their partners or employers. “We’re back in the AIDS years,” he says, “where we think only this demographic is affected.”
The lack of transparency on the part of the authorities and the waiting lists for vaccination contribute to an already extensive vaccination schedule: 2 doses 28 days apart. Against “1 single dose for people who have already been vaccinated against smallpox and 3 doses for people with a weakened immune system”, specifies Public Health. “It can spread very quickly and the delays are too long,” the activist said.
To limit this spread, some security information is transmitted. “We’re being told to limit contact, wear a mask and long clothes, and be careful with our pets who transmit contamination,” Martial lists. Even touching contaminated clothing or laundry can be contagious.
“In the end, we are only told that we should protect ourselves well,” he regrets, “but this information is only given drop by drop”. However, at the University Hospital of Rennes, vaccination seems to have started, like this netizen on Twitter who succinctly shares the good news.
Rennes University Hospital, which has been contacted for more details, has not yet responded.
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