Vaccine against Covid-19: the High Health Authority recommends a third dose from the age of 40 in France

Although the Covid-19 epidemic is once again gaining ground in France, the High Health Authority (HAS) recommended, on Friday, November 19, to expand the scope of eligible populations for a booster dose of the vaccine, proposing from age 40, six months after a complete primary vaccination.

In fact, the latest studies point to a benefit for this age group, explains the HAS in a press release, noting that “the current circulation of SARS-CoV-2 has accelerated again in the metropolitan territory for several weeks. “.

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So far, only people over the age of 65 and those at risk for severe Covid-19 have been eligible for a booster dose. In a speech of almost half an hour, Emmanuel Macron announced, on November 9, that this additional dose of vaccine would be necessary to extend the past of health to those over 65 years of age, and that a withdrawal campaign would begin, in early December, for those over 50. Therefore, the HAS goes further and recommends this retirement from the age of 40.

The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, reaffirmed the opening, “from the beginning of December”, to vaccinate only those over 50 years of age “as announced by the President of the Republic.” “The extension of the withdrawal to those under 50 will be studied soon,” he added.

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Hours before, questioned on the sidelines of a trip to the North about the generalization of this booster dose, the Head of State replied that the Executive was waiting for the opinion of the health authorities to be able to “enlighten itself with science.” , “Organize things as quickly and efficiently as possible.” “We realize that after about six months, the vaccine loses its effectiveness and therefore we have to give this booster as we do every year for the flu,” said Mr. Macron.

“I think we are all more or less enlightened to say that, for those over 50, we almost certainly need it. Between 40 and 50 years, it is the High Health Authority who will tell us, “he added. But “I would not be surprised if we are gradually moving towards booster shots for all adults who have been vaccinated, that’s the meaning of the story,” he said, however.

The High Health Authority, which has already issued several opinions on adults over 50 or caregivers, explains its new recommendation through various data that “confirm the benefit of a withdrawal from the market.” It is based in particular on the example of Israel, where this dose “confers excellent levels of protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection, even in people under the age of 60”.

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“Data from a large Israeli observational study published in [la revue scientifique] The Lancet provides a strong case for a booster dose in people 40 and older, ”continues the HAS. In fact, we observed “a reduction in the risk of infections, severe forms, hospitalizations and death in people aged 40 and over who have benefited from a booster dose, compared to those who have not. They have not benefited.”

France, like the rest of Europe, is facing an increase in cases of coronavirus contamination. As of Friday, 1,353 patients were hospitalized in intensive care due to Covid-19, a figure 19 more than on Thursday. In addition, about 11,500 new positive cases are registered each day, on average.

The United States health authorities, for their part, announced on Friday that they had given the green light to a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine intended for all adults fully vaccinated at least six months ago.

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Le Monde with AFP and Reuters

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