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Covid-19: Liberal doctors in Réunion worried about the low vaccination rate


Covid-19: Liberal doctors in Réunion worried about the low vaccination rate

The Regional Union of Liberal Doctors of the Indian Ocean (URML OI), is worried about the too low vaccination coverage observed in Reunion, while the Delta variant, even more contagious than the British variant, strikes the territory where only 22.4% of the inhabitants received the complete vaccination Schedule. We publish the URML OI press release below.

Liberal doctors are worried about the still too low number of Reunionese vaccinated, Reunion's ARS estimates that 22.4% of the population has a complete vaccination schedule. Also, URML OI wants above all to continue to send an awareness message. A message which starts with a desire to reassure and convince: “The vaccine will only be injected into a single cell to trigger the onset of immunity”, explains Dr. Christine Kowalczyk, president of URML OI. "For the virus, it's different. It will enter several cells, which will trigger a severe form in patients if the immune system does not put in place quickly."

This concern to see the number of serious forms multiply locally is justified by the active circulation of the delta variant which raises fears that an epidemic peak is looming in the coming weeks. Faced with this particularly contagious strain, vaccination seems to be the only really effective weapon. “In Israel, there was 40% vaccination and it stopped the appearance of serious forms. There was no rebound at that level and that made it possible to reduce hospital pressure. In South Africa, on the other hand, there was only 4% vaccination. And there, it is the catastrophe ”.

Across Reunion Island, this finding can also apply since none of the patients hospitalized or in intensive care due to Covid is currently vaccinated. Another major, and too often overlooked, side effect of the coronavirus epidemic is the delay in diagnosis and patient care. "Some patients hesitate to come for a consultation because they are afraid of being contaminated in the waiting room or in hospitals and clinics", indicates oncologist Mickaël Bègue. "These delays lead to excess mortality which could be preventable if people are vaccinated more to prevent the epidemic."

The occupation of intensive care beds is also a problem in cardiac surgery. The influx of patients caused by the health crisis limits the possibilities of access to intensive care beds and essential equipment such as ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) for other patients. “We no longer have access to these machines because they are often used by Covid patients,” says cardiologist Geoffray Rambaud. "The heart surgery patients are put on hold and that is a loss of opportunity for them. There have been deaths that could have been avoided if people had been vaccinated before and beds could be recovered for patients. patients suffering from other pathologies ".

Doctor Christine Kowalczyk also recalls, if necessary, that doctors remain convinced of the benefits provided by this medical gesture. “The vast majority of liberal doctors are in favor of vaccination and they practice it every day in their office. Those who oppose it represent only themselves ”. URML OI wants to sound the alarm on vaccination and reminds that getting vaccinated is also an altruistic gesture that relates to collective responsibility.