Monkey pox: four pharmacies will experiment with vaccination

Monkey pox: four pharmacies will experiment with vaccination

According to the presidents of the Federation of Pharmaceutical Unions of France and the Union of Unions of Community Pharmacists, four pharmacies will test vaccination against monkeypox from Wednesday August 10, in Marseille, Fréjus, Lille and Paris. .

The monkey pox vaccination campaign could change gears. After a first decree on July 26 to extend this competence to retired doctors and nurses, as well as to health students (under certain conditions), pharmacists should also be requisitioned, according to a first info from the Pharmacist’s daily. An experiment in four pharmacies, in Marseille, Fréjus, Lille and Paris, must first begin on Wednesday August 10 and for ten days, which is confirmed by Release the presidents of the Federation of Pharmaceutical Unions of France (FSPF) and the Union of Community Pharmacists’ Unions (USPO).

“The Minister of Health should announce it this evening, the text will be published in the Official Journal tomorrow morning, and vaccination will start on Wednesday”, details Philippe Besset, the president of the FSPF. The General Directorate of Health, for its part, did not wish to answer our questions because “there will be a priori a communication from the minister around 6 p.m.”.

While vaccination against monkeypox is progressing in small doses – only 18,500 people had received a first dose of vaccine as of August 4 according to AFP, out of the 250,000 eligible – integrating pharmacists into this loop could in one hand to compensate for the lack of arms in the hospital, on the other hand to allow more eligible people to seize the bite. “We know that people get vaccinated more when possible close to home,” underlines Pierre-Olivier Variot, president of the USPO. If the experimentation in the four pharmacies bears fruit, authorization could be given to others, especially “in areas with a lot of contamination”, adds Pierre-Olivier Variot.

Hard point of the routing

If pharmacists are in favor of this expansion, the challenge lies above all in a complicated logistics to put in place: the smallpox vaccine, used against monkeypox, must imperatively be kept at -80 degrees. During the test phase, the four pharmacies “will be supplied by pharmacies for internal use in neighboring hospitals”, says Philippe Besset. “Deliverers specializing in the cold chain have been mobilized by the Regional Health Agencies for the delivery, continues the president of the FSPF. But this logistics is only possible on a small scale. If we have to expand, we will have to do otherwise.

In the French drug circuit, wholesale distributors are initially responsible for ensuring the continuous link between laboratories and pharmacies. “They need to equip themselves with a suitable freezer, anticipates Philippe Besset. With the Covid-19, we discovered this cold chain, but we know how to do it because the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can only be stored at -30 degrees. When thawed, the vaccine against monkeypox can only be kept for fourteen days, which then requires very rapid distribution of doses.

As an extension of what has been entrusted to them since the start of the pandemic, pharmacists continue to take responsibility. “Our historical role is that of dispensing medication, today the community pharmacy is becoming the place of prevention”, observes the boss of FSPE. Pierre-Olivier Variot campaigns for “testing” in pharmacies, in order to better “break the chains of contamination” monkeypox.

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