Third dose of Covid vaccine: for whom, when, where … The answers to your questions

Third dose for everyone. Health Minister Olivier Véran announced at a press conference on Thursday that the booster dose, called the “third dose”, of the anti-Covid vaccine can be injected into any adult. In this sense, the government is following the recommendations of the Haute Autorité de santé, to face the fifth wave that is taking place in France.

From what age are you eligible for the third dose?

The booster can be given to anyone over 18 years of age. Until now, only the over 65s, caregivers and the most fragile were eligible for retirement. The recall would be offered to people ages 50 to 64 beginning December 1. But the executive is accelerating his agenda in the face of the dazzling new wave of the pandemic.

Adolescents 12 to 17 years old, who can be vaccinated against Covid-19, are not yet affected by the third dose. The only exception: immunosuppressed people, carriers of a high-risk pathology or comorbidity. The latter are eligible from the age of 12.

Third dose

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When can the third dose be taken?

As soon as five months after the last vaccine injection, you can receive the booster, instead of six before. This period is valid if you have received the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccine. People who have received the Janssen vaccine should receive a booster dose one month after the single dose.

As of Saturday the 27th, people over 18 years of age will be able to make appointments. “We will open, reopen or expand the vaccination centers starting this weekend,” said the Minister of Health. “You can now go to online appointment booking platforms to reserve your spaces.”

What will be the consequence for the health pass?

“As of December 15, the health pass for people over 65 will cease to be active if the reminder has not been made within seven months after the infection or after the last injection,” recalled the Minister of Health .

Then, starting January 15, the health pass will be deactivated for adults who have not received their reminder seven months after the last injection. If your last injection was more than five months old, then you have two months to take this third dose.

For people using the “TousAntiCovid” application, an alert will warn them of the imminent expiration of the pass. In addition, the validity of the anti-Covid test in a health pass is reduced from 72 hours to 24 hours.

Should we call again if we have had the Covid?

Olivier Véran recalled the current “rule”: “an infection corresponds to an injection” of vaccine. In other words :

– If you contracted Covid-19 prior to vaccination and therefore received a single injection five months or more ago, you may receive a second booster dose.

– If you received a first injection and then received Covid, five months later, you may receive a second booster dose.

– If you contracted Covid-19 after having received a full vaccination schedule, you can benefit from a booster five months after infection.

Can we get a third dose of a vaccine other than the first?

Yes. The recall is only carried out “with an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), regardless of the vaccine (s) previously used,” the Ministry of Health said at the start of the campaign. Olivier Véran has not indicated otherwise.

Both vaccines can be used regardless of which vaccine is used for the first dose (s), but Pfizer-BioNTech is recommended for those under 30 years of age.

Immunosuppressed, I’ve already had a third dose. Can I make a callback?

People “severely immunosuppressed”, whose initial regimen consisted of three doses on medical advice, may receive a new booster dose. Here too, the decision is made on medical advice.

I received a vaccine not approved in France: can I still go straight to the third dose?

In France, the health pass is valid for people with a negative result or who have benefited from a vaccination course carried out with a serum recognized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA): these are vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Janssen and AstraZeneca , or a vaccine with an equivalent composition recognized by the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM).

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French living abroad (and their spouses or beneficiaries) who have received a vaccine not approved by the AEM but included in the list of emergencies of the World Health Organization (such as Sinovac or Sinopharm, for example), can receive, upon request of the administration, a health pass more than 7 days after a booster with a dose of mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer). The Health Ministry has not yet specified how they would be affected by the withdrawal campaign.

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Nicolas Bouzou (P. CHAGNON / HEALTHY COCKTAIL)Nicolas bouzou

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France, Neuilly sur Seine, November 18, 2021, portrait of Alain Madelin, French politician.  He was minister three times between 1986 and 1995 and ran under the label of Liberal Democracy in the 2002 presidential elections.By Alain Madelin


Frédéric Filloux is a columnist for L'Express and editor of Monday Note.Frédéric Filloux

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