Covid France: Son, 48, and both his parents die of virus in same week

None of the trio was vaccinated against Covid, leading one of their relatives to urge people to get vaccinated saying ‘Covid is still here’ 

23 November 2021

The government is calling on elderly people who have not yet been vaccinated or have not yet received their booster to do so as soon as possible Pic: Rido / Shutterstock

By Hannah Thompson

A relative of three unvaccinated family members who all died of Covid this week has called on people to get vaccinated as soon as possible after the three died of the virus within days of each other in east France.

Ouafa Py is the daughter-in-law of Robert and Odile Py, and sister-in-law of Dominique, all of whom died from Covid this week. All are from the 80-inhabitant village of Courcelles-sous-Châtenois in Vosges, Grand Est.

Robert was 89, Odile was 82, and son Dominique was 48. None of them had been vaccinated against the virus.

She told local news site Vosges Matin: “It’s too much in one go. We are shocked. We didn’t expect this, it’s horrendous.

“Vaccinate yourselves. Covid is still here. Children who are going to school, who still have their grandmother, if they are not vaccinated, they should leave their grandparents alone.”

The family was well-known and loved in the village, and Robert had been a municipal councillor from 1983 to 1989.

Dominique was the first to pass away. He had been living with his parents since separating from his wife. He enjoyed fishing, and spending time with his daughter Katheline and granddaughter Jade.

Later, Robert passed away at the Vittel hospital, and Odile at the Neufchâteau hospital.

Covid cases are rising in Vosges, as they are nationwide. The incidence rate in the department is now 123 (out of 100,000 inhabitants). A total of 76.28% of Vosges residents are vaccinated, leaving almost a quarter who are not.

Government urges more vaccination and boosters

It comes as the government continues to urge people aged 65 and over to get vaccinated and have their booster jabs.

The health cabinet, le Conseil de défense sanitaire – which will include President Emmanuel Macron – is set to meet at the Elysée palace tomorrow to discuss possible future measures to slow the spread of the fifth wave.

Read more: Fifth Covid wave: Ministers to meet, what measures could France take?

Professor Arnaud Fontanet, epidemiologist and member of le Conseil scientifique, a group of medics who advise the government on Covid, yesterday told FranceInfo: “We still have 10% of people who have not received any injection, who are not vaccinated at all. These people are at high risk of being infected with severe forms [of the virus].

“I am especially thinking of the over-80s, of whom 13% are not vaccinated. Their risk of dying is higher than 10% if they are infected.”

Vaccination slows the number of infections, and reduces the severity of the illness, meaning fewer people need to be admitted to hospital, reducing the pressure on hospitals overall.

On November 20, le Conseil scientifique advised the government to “maintain and increase efforts to vaccinate people [with their first doses], because unvaccinated people are 10 times more likely to be hospitalised and need to stay in critical care”.

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