France allows vets and dentists to vaccinate against Covid-19
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France allows vets and dentists to vaccinate against Covid-19

Credit: Belga

Veterinarians and dentists will be able to vaccinate against Covid-19 after an opinion from the French National Authority for Health (HAS) published on Friday, which has yet to be formally ratified by the government.

The imminent publication of this opinion was announced on Thursday evening by Health Minister Olivier Véran during his weekly press conference.

Veterinarians will be able to vaccinate the public only in vaccination centres and not in their practices. Dentists, on the other hand, will be able to do so in both places.

For the time being, “the limiting element of our campaign” is not the number of potential vaccinators but “the deliveries of vaccines which are made to us,” Véran admitted, but “this limit is evolving in the good direction.”

In addition to veterinarians and dentists, the HAS recommends offering the possibility of injecting vaccines to pharmacists in analysis laboratories, to “pharmacists working for the fire and rescue services,” to “medical electro-radiology technicians,” to “laboratory technicians” and to certain medical students.

Finally, the HAS recommends that this extension should also concern “voluntary retired professionals.”

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In addition to already being authorised to inject Covid vaccines, nurses will gradually be able to prescribe them. Initially, this possibility will be offered “to nurses working in mobile vaccination teams.”

This will make it possible to “respond to needs not currently covered (isolated elderly people, people with disabilities, people in prison, people living in sparsely populated areas and socially isolated people or those in precarious situations, etc.)”.

In a second phase, “the HAS recommends extending the prescription of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines to all nurses (in vaccination centres and in towns), once vaccination is extended to the general population and coverage of the oldest and most vulnerable people is sufficiently advanced.

The aim of all these extensions is to “rapidly increase vaccination coverage”, which is deemed necessary because of the “high level of circulation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus” and the “rapid spread of new variants”, the HAS emphasises in its opinion.

In addition, it anticipates “substantial supplies of vaccines from April onwards”, which it believes justifies increasing the number of vaccinators.

In total, the new guidelines will allow 252,000 additional professionals to inject Covid-19 vaccines, the HAS calculated.

The Brussels Times