Pregnant women, people under 60 ” at risk “ and those living in the entourage of fragile people are now affected by the second booster dose of anti-Covid vaccine. Following the advice of the scientific authorities (Haute Autorité de santé and the Council for the orientation of the vaccine strategy), the government has decided to extend the vaccination booster in a “epidemiological context which remains worrying, with highly contagious variants”explained Wednesday, July 20 the Ministry of Health during a press briefing.
This extension concerns approximately 5 million people, which brings the number of French people eligible for this second booster dose to approximately 17 million. Until now, only people over 60 and immunocompromised people had access to it, ie some 12 million people. Of these, around 4 million received a second booster.
Possible from three months
This additional booster dose is possible from three months after the first booster for the most fragile (over 80, nursing home residents or severely immunocompromised). For others, it can be administered six months after the first booster. And, “in case of infection between the first and the second booster, we can do a second booster injection three months after the infection”the ministry said.
Asked if the government planned to offer a second reminder to the general population in the fall, the ministry replied: “Clearly, no. Today, there is no likely scenario that would extend the second recall to everyone, although we must remain cautious. »
He also delivered the injection figures for the vaccine from the American laboratory Novavax, based on classic technology: “We expected significant figures, this is not what we observed. Only 28,000 doses of this vaccine have been injected since March, it is very few, but it remains a useful vaccine”. According to the latest opinion from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), dated July 14, the Novavax vaccine could cause severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).
“The pandemic is not over”
The pandemic “is not finished”warned in its probable last opinion, published on Wednesday, the Covid-19 scientific council. “We must expect the appearance of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 in the human population”warns the body, which, for almost two and a half years, guided the executive in its health decisions and must be replaced at the end of the month by a “committee for monitoring and anticipating health risks”.
In this notice titled “Living with Variants” and dated Tuesday, July 19, the council points out that the virus “now benefits from a human reservoir large enough for endemic circulation in the human population”. According to him, “this circulation could over the next few years remain at high levels” and “accompanied by epidemic outbreaks associated with the emergence of new variants, more accentuated in the autumn-winter period”.
While he cannot come forward to predict which variant will be dominant, he hopes that the immunity of the population acquired through vaccines and infections will allow “increasing protection against severe forms of Covid-19”.