Covid-19 in France: third dose of mandatory vaccine and reinforced health pass

Published on: 11/25/2021 – 11:20 AMModified on: 11/25/2021 – 1:32 PM

The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, announced at noon Thursday that the booster of the anti-Covid vaccine would be open from Saturday to all adults over 18 years of age in France starting five months after the second dose.

In accordance with the recommendations of the High Health Authority (HAS), the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, announced on Thursday, November 25, that the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine would be available in France starting on Saturday for all people. greater. 18 years or older, as soon as five months after the second dose.

“In practice, this affects 25 million French, 6 million of whom have already received their booster, so there are still 19 million French to date who are eligible for the booster vaccine and who we ask to get vaccinated. in the next two months ”, clarifies Olivier Véran.

This booster shot must be done before January 15 to keep a valid health pass. Likewise, a negative PCR test, which also allows you to benefit from the health pass, will no longer be valid for 72 hours, but for 24 hours.

The Minister of Health also announced that the use of a mask indoors will once again be mandatory in all public places, including those subject to the health pass. The prefects will also have the possibility of imposing it abroad for certain events.

However, before these announcements, Olivier Véran had wanted to reassure the French. At this stage, “neither containment nor curfew” is foreseen in the face of the fifth wave of the Covid-19 epidemic that France is currently experiencing and which is “undoubtedly stronger, longer than (…) this summer” , he said.

“We can pass this wave without resorting to the most restrictive tools” that certain neighboring countries of France have already imposed, he stressed, specifying that at this stage there would be “no early closure of shops. There are no travel restrictions,” in the face of this resurgence of the epidemic.

France is also studying the possibility of vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 against Covid-19, but in any case, this will not happen before “early 2022”, said the Minister of Health, who has seized the national health authorities following approval of Pfizer Vaccine for 5-11 years by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Olivier Véran’s speech was followed by that of the Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer. The latter announced that primary school classes would no longer be automatically closed in the event of contamination of a student. In this case, there will no longer be a systematic closure of the class, but a systematic selection of all students in the class, he said.

A “worrying epidemic context”

Before these announcements, the High Health Authority (HAS) itself had recommended, in an opinion issued on Thursday morning, that the withdrawal of the Covid-19 vaccine be made starting at age 18, five months after completed vaccination.

In an opinion issued just six days earlier, on Friday, the HAS however recommended that the booster dose be given starting at age 40, six months after the last injection. But he decided to lower these deadlines because the “resumption of the epidemic” is “even stronger than expected,” he explains in his new opinion.

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“He considers that the worrying epidemic context justifies an acceleration of the vaccination campaign by shortening the time between the primary vaccination and the booster dose,” justifies the HAS, whose function is to inspire government policy on these issues.

It therefore “recommends that the administration of a booster dose can now be carried out as early as five months after the primary vaccination and that the booster campaign can now be extended to people over 18 years of age.”

The HAS is based, in particular, on projections from the Institut Pasteur, which assess the reduction in the peak of hospitalizations if the booster dose is administered after 18 years of age.

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According to the HAS, this reduction is 39% if the reinforcement is performed six months after the last injection and reaches 50% if the reinforcement is performed at five months.

The HAS ensures that the validity of this strategy is also illustrated by “data from real-life studies conducted in Israel.”

Beyond the reminder, “it is essential to continue efforts to vaccinate people who are not yet vaccinated,” stresses the HAS. Finally, he insists on “strengthening adherence to barrier gestures at a high level”, in order to “preserve the health system and avoid restrictive measures.”

With AFP


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