Unsurprisingly, the most precarious remain the least vaccinated against Covid. This is the observation made by Epicenter, the MSF epidemiology and medical research institute, in partnership with Public Health France, during a study unveiled on May 10. According to the survey of 3,811 homeless people or people in precarious housing in Île-de-France and Marseille, 74.5% of them had had access to a dose of vaccine in December 2021 compared to 90% in the general population. Even within this category, a “gradient of social integration” can be observed: 70 to 86% of the people housed have, for example, been able to benefit from vaccination against 42% of the homeless people in the two regions, and only 41% of Travellers. Territorial disparities also exist, since if the homeless in the Ile-de-France were 44% to have received at least one injection, only 20% in Marseille were vaccinated.
Two-thirds of respondents explained that they had been vaccinated for their personal protection and one-third for the purpose of collective protection. But, as for the rest of the population, the constraint induced by the medical pass also played a role: 43.9% say they felt obliged to have recourse to the injection to work or to access places whose access was conditioned to the famous pass.
Notable fact: the vast majority of non-vaccinated people (78%) are vaccinated by choice: fear of the vaccine and its immediate effects (pain, injection, etc.), fear of long-term effects, doubt in the efficacy of the product and, for a small part (12%), influence of “conspiracy theories” and “anti-system” discourse, relates the study. There remains, however, a fifth of these very precarious people who are not vaccinated, either because of a medical contraindication, or by misinformation on access, or by practical obstacle (too far, too many people, etc.).
In an attempt to shed light on the factors that may have favored or discouraged vaccination, Epicenter evaluated several criteria, including the age, language and administrative situation of the respondents. People over 65 were twice as likely to have received one or two doses as people aged 18-25. Being French-speaking also helps with vaccination, as does having health insurance or going to a regular doctor. Another less obvious factor favoring vaccination highlighted by the study is frequenting a food distribution point. A gateway to the most precarious that the Samu social has seized in particular by organizing operations to “go to” and “bring back to” to facilitate access to vaccines.
Conversely, living with family, depending on begging or getting information from social networks have been identified as factors negatively impacting the propensity of vulnerable people to get vaccinated. “We can see that trust still exists in doctors, but social workers should also be integrated into this dynamic”, argues Thomas Roederer, head of the study and epidemiologist at Epicenter.