Third dose for all: does Christian Estrosi have the right to offer it to the people of Nice before the government?

The story repeats itself. On Monday, the Scientific Council and the Vaccine Strategy Orientation Council discussed the possibility of using a third dose of vaccine against Covid-19, to boost everyone’s immunity, and thus cope with the fifth wave.

Neither one nor two, Christian Estrosi announces that the Niçois will benefit from it from “December 1,“ without age limit ”. This is not the first time that the mayor of Nice has tried to overtake the government in terms of vaccines. Does he have the right to make this decision, while for the moment, recalls are reserved for over 65s?

In reality, the mayor of Nice has no authority on the issue. Not even the HAS, which only makes recommendations on the relevance of vaccinating such and such a public “without ever authorizing, prohibiting or controlling vaccination a posteriori”, specifies the institution.

“The vaccination policy is drawn up by the Minister in charge of health who sets the conditions for immunization, sets out the necessary recommendations and makes the vaccination schedule public after consulting the High Authority for Health”, indicates article L3111-1. of the Public Health Code, which governs vaccination.

Thus, “a mayor, a president of a department, or of a region, cannot alone decide on the vaccination policy on his territory. The authority in charge of this competence has the last word. There is no possible competition, ”explains Jean-Baptiste Vila, professor of public law at the University of Bordeaux.

“Within the limits of available doses”

However, at the end of April 2021, Nice and Cannes had already overtaken the government, allowing 50-55 year olds to receive the injection in advance. The prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes then called for compliance with the vaccine targets set by the government, by press release.

Yesterday as today, the two municipalities affirm that they respect the instructions well – Cannes also wants to distribute third doses before the hour. Indeed, Christian Estrosi promises to respect the order of priority established by the government.

“In Nice, if there are vaccine doses left after 5 pm (closure of the centers) we will offer them to those who wish without any restriction, within the limits of the doses available”, Estrosi actually detailed on Monday on Twitter.

In other words, the mayor of Nice would not really open the granting of reminders to the entire population having received a complete vaccination, since these vaccination operations would be made from the doses which eventually would not have found a taker.

“We have been working since the start of this health crisis in conjunction with our local health council and with infectious diseases specialists from the CHU de Nice. This vaccination will be carried out in the evening between 5 pm and 6 pm within the limitation of the remaining doses available, ”recalls the town hall of Nice, requested by us.

The 3rd dose for all on the menu of the Defense Council … Wednesday

Christian Estrosi, however, wants to go further. He “asks” the President for authorization to “vaccinate now all those (…) who have finished their vaccination cycle for 6 months, if they wish”, without necessarily being at the end of the day. For this component, he specifies to wait for “the approval of the government”. Rightly so, because this time it would be explicitly going against the guidelines.

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Nice’s advance still promises to be short-lived. Even before the opinions of the Scientific Council and the Vaccine Strategy Orientation Council were made public, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran had already indicated that the extension of the third dose to under 50s will be studied “soon “. This question will also be on the menu of the Defense Council scheduled for Wednesday.

The Ministry of Health and the Prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes have not yet responded to our requests.

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