Why France no longer uses Moderna for Covid boosters – .

Why France no longer uses Moderna for Covid boosters – .

France will stop using the Moderna vaccine and only use the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to administer Covid booster injections, following an announcement from the Haute Autorité de santé (HAS).
Currently, the people eligible for a jab booster in France are (non-exhaustive list):

  • People over 65
  • Health professionals
  • People at risk for severe forms of Covid (including those with diabetes and obesity)
  • Severely immunocompromised people and their close friends and family
  • People who have received a dose of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine are eligible to receive a booster dose in France.

You can see a complete list on this link (in French).

HAS wrote in a statement Friday, Oct. 15 that it recommended using Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for booster doses in an Oct. 6 decision, without ruling out the use of Moderna’s vaccine, which uses technology similar.

He has now said he will wait for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to decide whether or not to allow Moderna to be used as a booster vaccine for people with normal immune systems. A decision is expected at the end of October.

The EMA recommended on October 4 that booster shots of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines be given to adults with severely weakened immune systems, but only allowed Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots to be given to people having a normal immune system.

In addition, in early October, Sweden and Finland suspended the use of Moderna’s vaccine for those under 30, and Denmark and Norway strongly advised against its use for those under 18.

Iceland has completely suspended the use of Moderna’s vaccine as a booster dose.

These measures were cited by HAS in its decision to advise against the use of Moderna as a booster.

He wrote that the vaccine could carry a possible risk of inflammation of the myocardium, heart muscle and pericardium, the membrane covering the heart.

He added that most of these inflammations are mild and pass on their own, but medical advice is recommended if symptoms appear.

The HAS also specified that the Covid spreading only moderately in France and that the country has sufficient doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, it considers it prudent to wait for the decision of the EMA before recommending Moderna as a booster vaccine.

No final decision has yet been made on whether France will deploy Covid booster doses to the general population.

In all cases, the HAS recommends giving boosters six months after the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or AstraZeneca and four weeks after the first and only dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

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