“Two doses of vaccine against Covid that will not be enough”, warns the specialist in infectious diseases of Orleans Thierry Prazuck

Thierry Prazuck is the head of the department of infectious diseases at the Orleans hospital. It returns to the opinion of the High Health Authority on the third dose of the Pfizer vaccine against Covid 19. People over 65 who were vaccinated more than six months ago have already been affected since September 1. This third dose is now recommended for other parts of the population: caregivers, medical facility staff, and families of immunosuppressed people.

Does this ruling from the High Health Authority mean that a third dose of vaccine is not necessary at this stage for everyone?

Yes, but things are gradually changing. When asked if I needed a third dose last May, I was suspicious. What allows us to answer this question? These are the studies that are done on vaccinated people, which are taken every month. We have this type of study in the hospital of Orleans, to see how the antibodies persist. We see that for those who were vaccinated in January-February, the antibodies begin to be insufficient. This is the reason why this third dose is necessary, particularly for nurses who will be in contact with fragile people.

The Minister of Health does not plan, at this time, to make this third dose mandatory for caregivers, should it be?

I think that from the moment the virus is still present and advances, and if we want to protect the most vulnerable populations, it seems logical to me to proceed with the obligation of vaccination. It should be noted that this third dose is six months after the second. And I would like to highlight one point: as of October 26, the influenza vaccination campaign begins. I insist on the fact that caregivers and all interested professions (home helpers, for example, are in the goal of the flu vaccine), we can do both at the same time, flu + Covid.

What emerges from his studies at the Orleans hospital is also that we are all very different in terms of the presence of antibodies in our body after the vaccine, do we have to take this into account, however?

It is true that we are not all the same. The older we get, the faster the antibodies will disappear. But after six months, for some it will be nine, ten or twelve months, the antibodies will definitely disappear. There are studies that are done on the general population, I am thinking of Israel, this is what the High Health Authority looked at, and that shows that people who have been vaccinated twice, at the end of a certain period will redo a Covid. So, in fact, we are not all the same, but two doses will not be enough in the long run. So we can bet that the epidemic will disappear, but that is not the case at the moment, globally it is still present. We are in the process of refining the data, but it seems to me that the third dose confers a much higher level of protection than the two doses.

Those over 65 have been affected since September 1 by the third dose. Only a third of the people signed up at Loiret have already done so. Do we need more information?

Yes. A third is not so bad, but you have to keep improving. These people should know that they are not immune to having a Covid and that the two doses are insufficient. If they were vaccinated more than six months ago, of course. And they can also apply the flu vaccine and the Covid vaccine at the same time, it is highly recommended.

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