The vaccination of children has been progressing since the beginning of the year in France, but not only because of the vaccination obligation, introduced on 1 January 2018. The mobilization of public authorities is probably very important.
Since 1 January 2018, compulsory vaccination of children has increased from 3 to 11 vaccines. At the same time, Public Health France observed, during the period January-May 2018, an increase in the vaccination coverage of children. But this increase occurs even before the law comes into force and concerns vaccines that are beyond the mandatory 11 vaccines.
This improvement would be a direct result of the effects of government mobilization to emphasize the importance of immunization. A mobilization that all the actors of the health waited to fight against the pharmacies of disinformation on the vaccination.
The voice of the authorities has weight
Indeed, the public authorities and their partners mobilized themselves well before the promulgation of the law expanding mandatory vaccinations for early childhood. They communicated widely to remind health professionals, as well as parents, about the individual and collective benefits of vaccination. They finally did their work on this crucial area for health and covered the spurious noise of misinformation.
Very interesting numbers
Looking at the first months of 2018, Public Health France notes an increase in vaccination coverage of + 5.6% for the vaccine against meningococcal C infections (recommended at 12 months): the vaccination went from 56.8% to 62.4% in one year. In the context of the measles epidemic that occurred during this period (2779 cases of measles and 3 deaths since November 2017), we observed an increase in vaccination coverage of + 2.6% for the first dose of measles vaccine. mumps-rubella (recommended at 12 months): it went from 72.41% to 75.0%.
At the same time, there is an increase in catch-up vaccination against meningococcus C with a gain in coverage between January and May 2018 of 1.4% for people aged 2 to 5 in 2017, from 70.8% to 72%. , 2%, as well as an increase in vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) infections, with a gain in coverage between January and May 2018 of 6.2% for girls aged 11 to 14 in 2017.
The trend is confirmed after the entry into force of the law
First data on the compulsory vaccination of children born in 2018 are available: they concern vaccination against hepatitis B. Of the babies born in May 2018, 97.8% received their first vaccination (using hexavalent vaccines including hepatitis B), compared with 92.3% in May 2017, an increase of + 5.5%. This observation would confirm the benefit of mandatory vaccination to improve vaccination coverage against hepatitis B.
These first encouraging results on the impact of compulsory vaccination will be completed in 2019 during the European Immunization Week which will take place from 22 to 28 April 2019.
The public authorities will remain mobilized in their mission of information on vaccinations with, among others, Vaccination-info-service.fr, the dedicated site that provides practical and scientifically validated information to answer questions from the public, as professionals from health.
According to the WHO, vaccination is one of the 3 public health actions, with the improvement of food and hygiene, which has had the greatest impact on life expectancy in the world.