A third dose of vaccine against the fifth wave, which promises to be “stronger and longer than the fourth wave”: as expected, Olivier Véran announced this Thursday at noon during a press conference the opening of the booster dose to all adults, starting this Saturday. , while on Wednesday 32,591 new contaminations were registered according to Public Health France, the highest since April 24.
For once, the Minister of Health was not accompanied by Jean Castex, in isolation after having tested positive for Covid-19, but by the Director General of Health, Jérôme Salomon, and the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer .
“Today I am not going to announce any closure, or curfew, or early closure of businesses,” the Minister of Health began before making his announcements.
Booster dose, health pass, PCR tests, mask use, school … this is what you should remember from this press conference:
1. The reminder is open to all adults
“I would not be surprised if we are gradually moving towards booster vaccines for all adults who have been vaccinated, that is the meaning of the story,” Emmanuel Macron confided on Friday. Olivier Véran confirmed it this Thursday: starting this Saturday, November 27, people over 18 years of age will be able to receive a booster dose of the vaccine, that is, a third dose for most French people. 19 million people are affected and “we have enough vaccines for everyone,” said the minister. “The vaccine protects us, we should not hesitate any longer,” he repeated.
This withdrawal campaign was launched in September for more than 65 years (at home or in residences), people suffering from comorbidities or immunosuppressed and, since October, health professionals, firefighters and relatives of immunosuppressed people.
The Scientific Council, the Vaccine Strategy Guidance Council and the Order of Physicians were in favor of a booster dose for all. “If the criteria of medical frailty are essential, other criteria are important, and in particular those intended to protect young adults who come into contact with others due to their student, professional or social life. More important as it gets closer the holiday season, “wrote the order.
2. The time between two injections was reduced to five months.
The generalization of the booster dose will be done with an adjustment of the deadlines: it will no longer be necessary to wait six months after the second injection, but only five months, as Israel, Italy and Singapore have already decided.
As a result, on November 27, those who received their second dose before June 27 can receive their booster dose.
3. The health pass valid for seven months after the second dose.
To make the booster vaccine coincide with the time between two doses, the validity of the health pass will be reviewed: in the future, it will be deactivated seven months after the second dose, being mandatory a third dose to maintain it.
On December 15, “the booster dose is included in the health pass for people 65 and older who received their last injection more than 7 months ago.” This will be the case as of January 15 for all those over 18 years of age.
As of January 15, the health pass will be deactivated for those who received their second dose before June 15.
In the TousAntiCovid app, a new feature will alert users to the fact that their health pass is about to expire for lack of a third dose.
4. Validity of reduced CRP tests
For those who do not wish to be vaccinated, they will still be able to obtain a negative PCR test but its validity period will be reduced from next Monday, going from 72 hours to 24 hours to have the health pass.
The government’s objective is clear: to encourage vaccination as much as possible, without it being formally mandatory.
5. The use of a mask is again mandatory
As of this weekend, the mask will once again be mandatory in all closed places where the health pass is requested (restaurants, shopping centers, show halls, museums, etc.). Even in some outdoor places with a high concentration of people such as Christmas markets, by decision of the prefects of each department.
6. Classes will no longer be closed from the first case
Finally, when it comes to schools, Jean-Michel Blanquer announced that classes will no longer be systematically closed as soon as a student tests positive. Starting next week, when a case is declared, the other students will be evaluated immediately. Those who test negative will be able to return directly to class, while those who test positive for the coronavirus will be sent home and will have distance lessons.
This experiment was launched in September in elementary schools in about ten departments. “This device has proven its relevance,” said the minister.
The objective is clear: to stop the closings of classes. This Thursday, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of National Education, no less than 8,500 classes are closed in France, compared to just over 4,000 last Friday, and up to 12,000 last year at the peak of the epidemic.
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