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The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, announced Thursday noon that the anti-Covid vaccine booster would be open on Saturday to all adults over 18 years of age in France from five months after the second dose.

In accordance with the recommendations of the High Authority for Health (HAS), the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, announced Thursday, November 25, that the third dose of vaccine against Covid-19 would be available in France from Saturday to all people aged 18 years and over, as early as five months after the second dose.

“In practice, this concerns 25 million French people, of whom 6 million have already received their booster, so there are still 19 million French people to date who become eligible for the booster vaccination and whom we call on to be vaccinated in the next two months”, clarified Olivier Véran.

This vaccination booster must be done before January 15 to keep a valid health pass. Likewise, a negative PCR test, which also makes it possible to benefit from the health pass, will no longer be valid for 72 hours, but 24 hours.

The Minister of Health also announced that wearing a mask was once again compulsory indoors in all public places, including those subject to the health pass. The prefects will also have the possibility of imposing it outside for certain events.

Before these announcements, Olivier Véran had however wanted to reassure the French. At this stage, it is not envisaged “neither containment nor curfew” in the face of the fifth wave of the Covid-19 epidemic that France is currently experiencing and which is “undoubtedly stronger, longer than (… ) this summer, ”he said.

“We can pass this wave without resorting to the most restrictive tools” that certain neighboring countries of France have already imposed, he stressed, specifying that at this stage there would be “no early closure of shops. no travel restrictions “, in the face of this upsurge in the epidemic.

France is also studying the possibility of vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 against Covid-19, but in any case, this will not take place before “early 2022”, said the Minister of Health, who has seized national health authorities after the approval of Pfizer’s vaccine for 5-11 years by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Olivier Véran’s speech was followed by that of the Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer. The latter announced that primary school classes would no longer be automatically closed in the event of contamination of a student. In this case, there will no longer be a systematic closure of the class but a systematic screening of all the students in the class, he said.

A “worrying epidemic context”

Before these announcements, the High Authority of Health (HAS) had itself recommended, in an opinion delivered Thursday morning, that the recall of the vaccine against the Covid-19 be made from the age of 18, five months after the vaccination complete.

In an opinion delivered only six days before, Friday, the HAS recommended however that the booster dose be made from 40 years, six months after the last injection. But she decided to lower these deadlines because the “resumption of the epidemic” is “even stronger than expected”, she explains in her new opinion.

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It “considers that the worrying epidemic context justifies an acceleration of the vaccination campaign by shortening the time between primary vaccination and booster dose”, justifies the HAS, whose role is to inspire government policy on these issues.

It “therefore recommends that the administration of a booster dose can now be carried out as early as five months after the primary vaccination and that the booster campaign can be extended now to people aged 18 and over”.

The HAS is based in particular on projections from the Institut Pasteur, which assess the reduction in the peak of hospitalizations if the booster dose is administered from the age of 18.

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According to the HAS, this reduction is 39% if the booster is done six months after the last injection and goes to 50% if the booster is done at five months.

The HAS assures that the validity of this strategy is also illustrated by “the data resulting from studies in real life carried out in Israel”.

Beyond the reminder, “it is essential to continue efforts to vaccinate people not yet vaccinated”, underlines the HAS. Finally, it insists on “strengthening adherence to barrier gestures at a high level”, in order to “preserve the healthcare system and avoid restrictive measures”.

With AFP

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