Minister of Health Agnès Buzyn at a press conference on the eleven compulsory vaccines for children, January 5, 2018
Health Minister Agnès Buzyn on Wednesday urged „all people who are not vaccinated (against measles) or who did not have their children vaccinated to catch up“ after the death of a woman of 32 years in Poitiers.
„When vaccination coverage of the population is insufficient, the most vulnerable people catch it,“ added the minister on France Inter. „In some parts of France, the coverage is around 70%, it is totally insufficient to prevent an outbreak emerge,“ she said.
Agnès Buzyn pointed out that „almost all cases of measles have occurred either in unvaccinated people or only one dose in their lifetime, while two doses were recommended at the time“.
„They are now mandatory because of the severity of the disease,“ said the minister, recalling that „in a measles epidemic, there will be one death in 3,000 cases, encephalitis with sequelae for 1,500 cases (…) and much more frequent pneumopathies „.
Measles is one of the 11 vaccines that are now mandatory for children born on or after 1 January.
A measles epidemic is currently raging in New Aquitaine. A 32-year-old unvaccinated woman died at the University Hospital of Poitiers (Vienne), where she was admitted on 1 February and placed in intensive care the next day.
„It’s a reflection of the history of vaccination in France: there are people aged 20 to 40 who grew up without being vaccinated and are now non-immune,“ AFP told AFP on Tuesday. Daniel Lévy-Brühl, head of the unit responsible for respiratory infections and vaccination at the health agency Santé publique France.
According to him, „there remains a huge reservoir of non-immune subjects, which may be tomorrow the next cases of measles, even death.“
In New Aquitaine, the Regional Health Agency (ARS) has so far identified 269 confirmed cases, of which one quarter (66) required hospitalization, and four patients admitted to intensive care.