From Thursday, employees aged 50 to 64 with co-morbidities will be able to be vaccinated in their companies. This new stage of vaccination raises questions regarding respect for medical confidentiality.
From this Thursday, occupational physicians will be able to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to employees aged 50 to 64 with co-morbidities. “Companies wanted to get involved in particular to educate employees about the importance of vaccination,” said Tuesday at the microphone of Europe 1 Elisabeth Borne, Minister of Labor and Employment.
Like the global vaccination campaign, the one in companies will initially take place very slowly. One of the primary issues is to preserve medical confidentiality.
· Who carries out the vaccination?
It is not the management of companies or the representatives of human resources who carry out the vaccination, but only the occupational physicians. “The companies themselves will not be responsible for organizing the injections. It is the occupational health services which will be mobilized,” the minister stressed on Tuesday.
Asked on the set of BFM Business on Tuesday, Benoît Serre, vice-president of the National Association of HRDs (ANDRH) said he was in favor of supporting pharmacists in small and medium-sized businesses. VSE-SMEs “do not necessarily have an integrated occupational health service”, he underlines, before adding: “occupational physicians will necessarily be overwhelmed because there are not many of them.”
“One could imagine that an SME will make some sort of agreement with a local pharmacy that it knows and that would allow the number of people vaccinated to be considerably extended,” he suggested.
· What category of employees can benefit from it?
Following the recommendations of the High Authority for Health, the AstraZeneca vaccine can be administered to volunteer employees aged 50 to 64 years, suffering from comorbidities.
These are “vulnerable, very vulnerable employees, that is to say those who have chronic pathologies, for example cardiovascular problems, respiratory problems, obesity problems,” said Elisabeth Borne.
· How many doses will companies receive?
Like general practitioners, occupational physicians “must get closer to the dispensary pharmacy of their choice, to identify themselves and obtain doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine under the same quota regime,” a statement said Monday. of the State Secretariat responsible for pensions and occupational health.
This week, the first delivery of AstraZeneca doses will be limited to a single vial, or ten doses. It will then continue with a second delivery around March 1, from one to two bottles at most. It is therefore a vaccination that takes place, initially, on a very small scale.
“This is a first step, and when we give access to the vaccine to all adults, then companies can really gain momentum,” said Elisabeth Borne.
· Is this a criterion for continuing teleworking or not?
The Minister of Labor insisted on the strict “confidentiality” of this vaccination. In other words, your supervisor should not be informed of your approach and it therefore does not come into account in the choice of face-to-face or teleworking work.
“As with any act of vaccination, their intervention is carried out in strict compliance with the ethical rules related to the consent of people, medical confidentiality and the confidentiality of vaccinations vis-à-vis the employer,” recalls the ministry press release. .
· How will medical confidentiality be ensured?
This is the point that raises doubts. Benoît Serre is alarmed on our antenna about this campaign about the preservation of medical confidentiality, believing that the organization is “not very clear”:
“These are employees aged 50 to 64 with comorbidities, but it is the occupational physician who will determine whether or not they can be vaccinated, on the one hand, and they must be volunteers on the other hand. . (…) So in theory, the company will not be aware of the fact that one or another of its employees has been vaccinated. In practice, this will necessarily be known, “he added.
Finally, the ANDRH is concerned that the in-company vaccination campaign “poses a small problem of medical confidentiality because this means that company employees will know that such and such has been vaccinated and therefore will deduce (…) that he has comorbidities “.