Sunday, January 16

Covid-19. Third dose of vaccine: what does the Scientific Council recommend?

While the epidemic resumption is confirmed in France, with an incidence greater than 200 in more than one in four departments, a health defense council will be held on Wednesday. The opportunity for the government to decide whether or not to extend the vaccine booster dose to new categories of the population. It is what the Scientific Council recommends in its latest opinion responsible for advising the executive. But he also insists on the need to continue the efforts of “primary vaccination” and the maintenance of barrier gestures.

Who is already affected?

Since the beginning of September, the booster dose, often a 3rd dose but not always, can be administered to people over 65, to people at risk of severe forms and to caregivers, firefighters, as well as to relatives of immunocompromised people. This reminder will be mandatory for them from December 15 to continue to benefit from the health pass, except for people with comorbidities and immunosuppressed.

In his televised address on November 9, the President of the Republic also announced the launch of a recall campaign from the beginning of December for people aged 50 to 64.

The pass conditional on recall

In its opinion, the Scientific Council supports this reduction “to 50 years by keeping an interval of 6 months after the primary vaccination”, considering that the individual and collective interest of the booster for 50-64 years is “proven”.

He recommends that the recall obligation for this age group also conditions the health pass, according to “the same conditions as for those over 65, but with an appropriate time frame”. For the latter, if they have not received their booster dose 6 months and 5 weeks after their last injection, their QR code will be automatically deactivated after these periods.

On November 19, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran announced that the vaccination booster for those under 50 would be studied shortly by the government.

Lower to 40, or for all adults?

“The evolution of the epidemic invites to consider a vaccination booster for the entire adult population 6 months after the primary vaccination”, also notes the Council. “In the medium-long term (spring 2022), the 3rd dose / booster could have an impact on the youngest populations (circulation of the virus) and thus limit the risk of epidemic resumption in spring 2022”, he adds.

The Haute Autorité de Santé, which issued a report last Friday, estimates for its part that the age threshold should be lowered to 40 years, still six months after the primary vaccination. But it does not yet pronounce for the other age groups, considering that “the data and analyzes available do not yet allow (…) to pronounce”.

The government has yet to vote on this enlargement, even if Emmanuel Macron, on Friday during a trip to the North, has already hinted at it: “I would not be surprised that we are gradually moving towards vaccine booster shots for all adults who have been vaccinated, that is the meaning of the story “.

Maintain “primary vaccination efforts” and barrier gestures

If these new measures are validated by the executive, the Scientific Council plans a “new mass vaccination” from mid-December 2021 to March 2022 (taking into account the period of 6 months after the second dose), which must be that the government anticipates.

But he also specifies that this should not prevent “maintaining or even strengthening the efforts of primary vaccination”, since about 6 million eligible people (about 12.4% of people over 12 years old) are still not fully vaccinated. . Nor to maintain barrier gestures, “whose impact on the circulation of the virus is very strong”, in particular the wearing of a mask, hand hygiene, ventilation of closed places.

The Scientific Council also recommends continuing to control the health pass in closed places in particular, to expand teleworking again, to reintroduce the wearing of masks in certain places, and to strengthen diagnostic tests “as soon as symptoms appear. “.

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