The second booster dose is open to people over 60 years of age, as well as people under 60 who are immunocompromised and who received the last dose more than three months ago.
A fourth injection … Initially over the 80s were encouraged to receive a second booster dose on 14 March by the Ministry of Health. If they had carried out their first booster dose more than three months ago, they highly recommended going through the vaccination box again.
As the Supreme Health Authority explained in an opinion published on March 17, the effectiveness of vaccine prevention diminishes over time. Therefore, to deal with this phenomenon, the authorities decided to give a new booster dose to the elderly, since they are more likely to be affected by dangerous forms.
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According to the latest data from Public Health France on April 24, people aged 80-89 are the most represented age group in hospitals for Covid-19.
‘Not necessary’ to extend the second booster dose
On April 7, the authorities decided to extend access to the fourth dose for those over 60 years old. “Good thing,” according to Ives Poisson, professor of epidemiology and microbiologist and head of the Covid-19 cell within the Academy of Medicine. “We must maintain good vaccination coverage for the most vulnerable, whether because of their age or health status (immune depression, comorbidities, etc.).
However, the professor does not see it as “necessary at the present time” to extend this reminder to the rest of the population when “we enter a phase of epidemic decline and calm”.
“The idea of ensuring continued protection for people at risk is perhaps the outline of a long-term strategy to combat the coronavirus: we know that it is a seasonal disease, and therefore it can be wise, when we are not at the epidemic stage, to offer an annual vaccination, such as the flu shot, to people the most fragile,” adds Yves Poisson.
A strategy that will be refined, he says, with the arrival of new vaccines today, is in the works. “We don’t yet know their performance, how they are administered, etc. The medium and long-term vaccine strategy will derive from their capabilities that they will have to give long-term immunity, as well as taking into account the different types of diversity,” he says.
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Moreover, as indicated by the High Authority of Health, it is necessary to avoid “reducing the population’s commitment to vaccination through frequent reminders”. Yves Buisson believes that we can “leave people invulnerable alone for the time being”.
Also, it is best to focus on people who need these booster doses and a fortiori on those who have not yet received the first two injections: 7.65% of people over 75 were still not immunized on April 21.
Vaccination of children a ‘missed opportunity’
Just as Professor Buisson points out, the Academy of Medicine’s Covid-19 cell regrets that the vaccination campaign for children aged 6-11 was ultimately not followed.
“It is a missed opportunity, there are very few children who have been vaccinated. If it is true that they have relatively mild forms, they can still be affected by long-term Covid. The argument that it is rare does not hold, otherwise we would not vaccinate them against diphtheria or polio. … ”, estimates Yves Poisson.
So the professor calls for “thinking about the next school year” and betting on the initial vaccination of children.