Covid-19. After the over 60s, will the second booster dose become widespread?

From this Monday, March 14, 2022, the Novavax vaccine will be available in Châteaubriant (Loire-Atlantique).
Will the second booster dose of the anti-Covid-19 vaccine be generalized to the entire population? (©L’Éclaireur de Châteaubriant)

In mid-March, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the opening of the fourth dose (the second booster dose) of the anti-Covid-19 vaccine to those over 80 years old.

In early April, it was the turn of Olivier Véran, Minister of Health, to announce that those over 60 could now receive a second booster dose.

Will the government continue its momentum and open the fourth dose to All the french peopleregardless of their age?

The HAS does not recommend it

The vaccination pass is no longer mandatory since March 14. Thus, even if this fourth dose is possible, it will no longer be necessary to go to places of culture and other restaurants, bars, cafes…

But all the same, the epidemic is not behind us yet. As of April 8, 2022, the incidence rate was still almost 1,400 cases per 100,000 population. A far cry from the 3,800 at the end of January, but much higher than the 547 at the start of March.

In a note dated mid-March, the High Authority for Health (HAS) recommended the administration of a second booster dose, but only for people over 65and not “in the general population”.

Taking into account the various data available and the still limited hindsight on the decline over time of vaccine protection from a first booster, the uncertainties relating to the persistence of vaccine efficacy from a second booster, and the challenges of acceptability by the population of successive and frequent booster campaigns, HAS considers that it is not relevant to currently recommend the administration of a second booster dose in the general population.

The High Authority for HealthHAS

Depending on the epidemic situation

Contacted by this Tuesday, April 12, 2022, the HAS confirmed the words of March: “There will be no generalization for the moment”, adding “that documentation, in particular on this subject, would be released in the coming weeks”.

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On the side of the General Directorate of Health (DGS), also questioned by” it’s not planned “.

On the other hand, it insists on the fact that “a possible generalization of the second booster dose in the general population would obviously depend on the evolution of the epidemic situationbut also the opinions of the scientific authorities (COSV, HAS) which could be rendered”.

“The vaccine should be updated”

According to Henri Agut, former director of the virology department of Pitié-Salpêtrière, contacted by“it seems that immunity lasts a few months and only protects against severe forms” of the virus.

No effects therefore on contamination. However, it is precisely that the level of contamination decreases so that the epidemic stops.

Same observation for Doctor Rossi: “there would be a real interest in allowing everyone to benefit from another booster dose if it reduced contamination”.

The infectious disease specialist who works at the Robert-Ballanger hospital in Aulnay, nevertheless recalls that if the contaminations remain high, “it is mainly fragile people who are in the hospital. »

For Henri Agut, “it would be necessary that the vaccine is updatedespecially since at the time when it was created, there was no [le variant] Omicron. However, in the week of March 28, 2022, Omicron represented 99.9% of the contaminations on the territory, according to Public Health France.

If we had a more efficient vaccine, and adapted to Omicron, then why not. As it stands, it’s not worth it.

Benjamin RossiInfectiologist at the Robert-Ballanger hospital, in Aulnay

Clinical trials in this direction had been announced by Pfizer and Moderna. Patience, therefore.

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