The French regulator for the quality of health services, the Haute Autorité de santé (HAS), announced on August 24 that a third booster dose would be recommended for all people aged 65 and over, as well as those with risk of developing a severe form. of disease.
Booster doses should start from the fall.
How does the jab booster help?
The jab is intended to increase the level of protection against severe forms of Covid, as the immune response to the virus has been found to naturally decrease over time in fully vaccinated people.
Recent studies, including one published in the scientific journal Nature in June, show that this effect is particularly likely in people aged 65 and over.
Another study in Nature showed that the immune response is also weaker against the Delta variant.
Who is eligible for the jab?
Two main categories of the population.
- First, people aged 65 and over;
- Second, people of all ages are at risk of contracting a severe form of the disease if infected (a full list of conditions that make this likely can be found on the HAS website).
Dominique Le Guludec, president of the HAS, told FranceInfo: “We anticipate at least 15 million people”.
The health ministry has calculated that in total around 18 million people will be eligible for a booster dose, AFP reported after a ministry press conference.
What vaccines will be used?
HAS recommended using only mRNA vaccines for boosters. These are the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna jabs.
Indeed, these vaccines are “very effective against severe forms of Covid, including those related to the Delta variant”.
It doesn’t matter which vaccine you received for your first and second shots, even if it was AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson single dose.
How long do you have to wait before getting the third jab?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for a moratorium of at least two months on countries announcing third-dose campaigns, but despite this, several countries have already moved forward.
Hungary is the first European country to start offering third doses to its people, in an effort to prevent the Delta variant from spreading further. Almost 180,000 people have already received a booster dose, in addition to nearly 60% of the Hungarian population who had already received a double injection.
From September 20, the United States is also expected to offer a third dose to people who have already received full Pfizer and Moderna injections; while Israel is now also offering a third injection to people aged 40 and over, with the aim of stopping the Delta variant. More than 60% of the Israeli population is double-bitten.
France has confirmed that its third doses will start in the fall.
Ms. Le Guludec: “Between 6 and 12 months after the end of the first vaccination, a booster dose is important for people at risk of severe disease. [of Covid]. »
She said the recall campaign was justified because of the “restart of the epidemic linked to the emergence of the more contagious Delta variant”.
France is still demanding that people wait six months before their last injection date and get a booster – with the exception of people who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson jab, who will not have to wait. that four weeks, the A said.
The government is pushing for the recall campaign to start in September, but HAS suggests it should not be offered until October.
Ms. Le Guludec said: “There is no rush. The decrease in the effectiveness of vaccination is gradual and slow over time.
HAS hopes that the campaign’s launch in October will allow it to deploy booster vaccines at the same time as the annual flu vaccination campaign, to kill two birds with one stone.
“The idea is to prevent people from having to travel twice to be vaccinated, and to allow them to benefit from both vaccinations at the same time,” said Ms. Le Guludec.
France must also wait for the approval of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to proceed.
Will the rest of the population also need a third jab?
HAS has indicated that this does not appear to be necessary at this time.
However, he also said that a boost for other categories of people “will probably become necessary in the coming months”.
And Professor Jean-François Delfraissy, chairman of the government advisory body of the Scientific Council, also said this week that a third dose will likely be extended to a larger proportion of the population eventually.
The told TeleMatin: “If you want my personal opinion, I think we will go for a third dose for a large percentage of the vaccinated population. To stimulate the immune response. And if we end up with another variant, we can now manufacture other vaccines, specifically targeted on this or that variant. ”
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