The story is different from that of the government.

French health authorities recommend offering a fourth dose of anti-Covid vaccine to people over 65 who are “most at risk”, this Friday.

The government has only opened it to those who are over 80 years old.

The High Authority for Health (HAS) spoke out in a press release for “a second booster dose for people over 65 who are most at risk of a severe form of the disease and who wish it”.

No scientific consensus

The idea of ​​a second booster dose, generally referred to as a “fourth dose”, has been mooted for several months, given the rise of the Omicron variant which is particularly contagious and partly resistant to existing vaccines.

The scientific consensus is far from being established as regards the interest of an extension to the entire population, but several countries have chosen to give the possibility to those deemed most at risk.

It is the choice of France which announced, a few days ago, by the voice of Prime Minister Jean Castex, that the fourth dose would be offered to all people over 80 years of age.

But this announcement was made without waiting for the opinion of the High Authority for Health, which had nevertheless been seized on the subject by the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran.

Six-month interval

The HAS does not pronounce clearly on the merits of such an opening to older people without discrimination, contenting itself with “taking note of the government announcement”.

But she believes that from the age of 65, only people "at very high risk of severe form" of Covid, or those with several chronic diseases, should have access to the fourth dose.

What's more, while the government is opening up the possibility of a fourth dose three months after the third, the HAS considers that this interval should be extended to six months "so as not to reduce the adherence of the population to vaccination by too frequent reminders.

Preventive use of Evusheld

The HAS finally insists on the fact that it is not “relevant” to open the fourth dose to the entire population, after its European counterpart, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) took a similar position on Thursday.

The French authority has also communicated other recommendations: it now considers it possible to vaccinate children who have suffered from a pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome (PIMS), the most frequent complication of Covid in the youngest.

Finally, it wishes to extend the use of a preventive treatment, Evusheld from AstraZeneca, to all immunocompromised patients in whom vaccination does not work well, including adolescents over 12 years of age.

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  • Vaccination

  • Covid vaccine

  • Health

  • Covid-19

  • Coronavirus

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