Eleven vaccinations, compared to three so far, become compulsory for children born on or after 1 January 2018.
Pertussis, measles-mumps-rubella, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae bacteria, pneumococcus and meningococcus C are added to the three already mandatory, grouped under the name “DTP”: diphtheria since 1938, tetanus since 1940 and poliomyelitis since 1964. These eleven vaccines will be essential for a child to be admitted to the community (crèche, school…) but represent ten injections over 2 years. And to allow time for adaptation, the first checks will only take place from 1 June 2018. The health authorities’ main argument is the drop in the vaccination coverage rate and the reappearance of certain diseases. “There have been 20 measles deaths since 2008. It is important to increase vaccination coverage so that these easily preventable tragedies no longer occur in France,” said Daniel Lévy-Bruhl, from the French Public Health Agency, last December.
These compulsory vaccinations will be 65% covered by the Health Insurance, except for MMR, which is 100% covered for minors. Additional cost for security, about 12 million euros, according to the ministry. “We will obviously give families time to get their house in order because it is out of the question to push people to vaccinate in an emergency,” said Health Minister Agnès Buzyn. “But the idea is that the 15% of (unvaccinated) children who put others at risk and encourage the re-emergence of epidemics for which there are deaths today, should get their act together to protect the rest of the population. Initially, recalcitrant parents could in theory face up to six months in prison and a fine of 3,750 euros. But the minister says she does not want to focus her policy on repression. It is true that 41% of French people questioned for an international study in 2016 believe that vaccines are not safe, a world record. The “anti-vaccines” consider them dangerous (in particular because of their adjuvants, especially aluminium) and are wary of laboratories, accused of giving priority to profitability over children’s health.