Booster dose, test valid for 24 hours: is the health pass becoming a vaccination pass?

Olivier Véran unveiled on Thursday the new measures decided by the executive to fight against the outbreak of Covid-19. A few measures stand out: the extension of the recall campaign and its inclusion in the health pass, and the reduction of the validity of the tests to 24 hours. Developments that significantly bring the health pass closer to a vaccination pass.

“We make the choice to reconcile freedom and responsibility”. This guarantee, it was Olivier Véran who put it forward this Thursday during a government press conference intended to unveil the new measures decided in the context of the fight against Covid-19. But freedom does not prevent incitement, and the Minister of Health has given a very clear direction to the notion of responsibility: “The choice of responsibility is the choice of vaccination”.

In addition to opening the booster campaign to the entire adult population, two measures are clearly in line with this logic: conditioning the health pass to obtain a booster dose (without it, it may expire 7 months after the second injection from December 15 for people 65 and over, from January 15 for other audiences), and the reduction, from next Monday, of the validity of a negative PCR or antigen test at 24 hours instead of the current 72 hours. Tests, which in the absence of symptoms, a prescription, or a contact case status, have also been paying off since October.

A lesson follows naturally from these two new facts: the executive may cry out when we talk about the establishment of an obligation in this area, the health pass will now resemble in many ways a vaccination pass.

The nuances of Olivier Véran

Asked about this during his press conference, Olivier Véran observed: “The fundamental difference between the health pass and the vaccination pass is that there is always the possibility for someone who is not vaccinated to be tested, certainly at his own expense, in order to be able to access an event, an establishment open to the public, enter a bar or a restaurant “.

However, he had posed as a preamble: “The health pass is part for some of the measures of constraint. I can understand that when one is not vaccinated it is obligatory to be vaccinated in order to access an establishment open to the public. But it is is even more restrictive for the French who are 90% to have been vaccinated and see again the virus circulating and again care which could be deprogrammed, hospitals which could see again arriving patients by tens or by hundreds “.

“We are changing the paradigm”

Patrick Kanner, boss of the Socialists in the Senate, and who recalls that his training pushes in favor of “universal vaccination obligation”, did not bother with so many precautions in the wake of the press conference. “The health pass becomes in fact a vaccination pass!” he said on BFMTV, explaining:

“We are changing the paradigm. We were in a proactive approach to achieve this health pass. Today, if you do not recall, you will no longer have a health pass, which means that you are falling to a level that is that of those French people whom I would like to solemnly call on to be vaccinated. “

Why not use the term?

Why then retreat before the semantic obstacle and refuse to use the expression “vaccine pass”? Beyond a possible fear of offending a part of the population, our political editorialist Laurent Neumann distinguished the practical interest of this modesty:

“We don’t call it that because if we had wanted to transform it into a vaccination pass, we would have had to go back to parliamentarians, have a new law voted, in short, new political discussions so we push all the sliders the furthest possible to approach a vaccination pass while remaining in the nails of a health pass. “

68% of French people in favor of compulsory vaccination

Especially since it is not certain that talking about a “vaccine pass” still alienates too many French people from the executive. On the contrary even: according to an Ifop poll for the JDD published this Thursday morning, they are in their majority supporters of the outright vaccination obligation. 68% of them say they are in favor of the implementation of a compulsory vaccine against Covid-19.

A broad consensus which is not without nuance and division. For example, while the support of the majority is at 90% for this vaccine imperative, the statistics fall respectively to 56% and 55% on the side of the sympathizers of rebellious France and the National Rally.

The distinctions are also of a generational or sociological nature: when 50% of 25-35 year olds favor the vaccination obligation, those 65 and over are inclined to it for 83% of them.

Robin Verner BFMTV reporter

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