France has entered a new epidemic wave. Indeed, 79,852 new cases of Covid-19 have been detected in the past 24 hours, according to data from Public Health France, a figure up 50.4% in seven days.

Sign that the epidemic is starting again, the number of appointments made on Doctolib to receive a booster dose, the first or especially the second, has increased significantly in recent days. In addition, the number of screening exams increased by 25% last week, according to figures published Thursday, June 23 by the Ministry of Health, which has just lowered the prices for PCR tests.

In two days, about 45,000 people made an appointment on Doctolib to receive a booster dose, the first but especially the second. As Le Parisien points out, Wednesday June 22 and then Thursday, more than 22,000 people have reserved a slot on the site every day. Almost three times more than the previous Wednesday and Thursday.

In detail, around 80% of these reservations were made by French men and women aged at least 60. The over 80s have been eligible for the second booster since March 14, the 60-79s since April 7, while the immunocompromised were already eligible since the very beginning of the year.

Thursday, the suspended Minister of Health Brigitte Bourguignon “launched an appeal for this vaccination which must be maintained, supported”, after having received her second booster dose herself in a Parisian pharmacy. Fewer than 2.2 million people received their second booster dose, out of more than 8.7 million eligible people. A “clearly insufficient rate”, according to the government.

New illustration of the rebound of the Covid-19 epidemic: the number of screening examinations increased by 25% last week, according to figures published Thursday by the Ministry of Health, which has just lowered the prices of PCR tests .

With more than 1.6 million PCR and antigen tests validated between June 13 and 19, screening activity is “again sharply increasing”, indicates the statistics department (Drees) in a press release. Falling to just over a million at the end of May, the number of tests had already risen to almost 1.3 million the week of Pentecost. This new jump of 25%, favored by the absence of public holidays, is even more pronounced among those under 16 (45%). The trend is modeled on the Covid epidemic: the number of contaminations has tripled in three weeks, from less than 18,000 per day at the end of May to more than 54,000 on Wednesday (on average over seven days).

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Thursday approved the coronavirus vaccine from Franco-Austrian biotech Valneva, which becomes the sixth Covid vaccine recommended for adults in the 27 countries of the European Union.

Nantes-based company Valneva is developing an inactivated virus vaccine, a more traditional technology than messenger RNA. This is also one of the arguments put forward by the laboratory, which believes that this vaccine could convince people who have not yet been vaccinated.

“The EMA has recommended the granting of a marketing authorization for the vaccine” Valneva for people “between the ages of 18 and 50,” the European regulator said in a statement. “After a thorough assessment, the EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) concluded by consensus that the data on the vaccine were robust and met EU criteria for efficacy, safety and efficacy. quality,” he added. The data showed that the vaccine triggers the production of higher levels of antibodies against the original strain of SARS-CoV-2 for people aged 18 to 50, said the EMA, whose headquarters are in Amsterdam.

Vaccination against Covid-19 averted 19.8 million deaths out of a potential 31.4 million in the first year following the introduction of the vaccines in December 2021, suggests a first large modeling study, published this Friday, June 24.

The study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, is based on data from 185 countries and territories, from December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021. It is the first to attempt to assess deaths averted directly and indirectly as a result vaccination against Covid-19. For this, it uses the official figures of deaths with Covid but also the total excess deaths of each country (or estimates when official data was not available).

Nearly 600,000 additional deaths could have been prevented if the World Health Organization (WHO) target of vaccinating 40% of the population in every country by the end of 2021 had been reached, she concludes. “Our results show that millions of lives have likely been saved by making vaccines available to people everywhere,” said study lead author Dr Oliver Watson, Imperial College London, quoted in the journal’s press release. “However, we could have done more.”

Wearing a mask is no longer compulsory from this Friday in Thailand where Covid-19 infections continue to decline while the authorities seek to revive the tourism sector, vital for the country. Mandated since mid-2021, wearing a mask will now be “on a voluntary basis”, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha said in the Royal Gazette, Thailand’s Official Gazette.

Authorities recommend continuing to put one in crowded or poorly ventilated areas. The private operator that runs the Bangkok Metro said it remained mandatory on the network. This decision is on the whole well accepted by the population. The “Thai pass”, health and travel documents required for foreign visitors wishing to visit the country, will end from July 1.

The Austrian government announced on Thursday the total abandonment of its compulsory vaccination policy against Covid-19, after having already suspended it in March barely a month after its entry into force.

“We now have to live with Covid, so we are going to implement a series of measures, which means the end of compulsory vaccination,” Health Minister Johannes Rauch told a press conference in Vienna. The strategy “had been put in place in a different context”, with overcrowded hospital units, he stressed. “But the Omicron variant changed the rules,” added the environmental minister. “Even those who had agreed to be vaccinated are now reluctant to be given another dose.”