The High Authority of Health recommends a booster shot from 40 years old

– What did the Haute Autorité de santé recommend?

The effectiveness of vaccines against symptomatic infections declines over time, which partly explains the epidemic rebound experienced in France and Europe. To counter this decline, the High Authority for Health (HAS) recommended Friday, November 19 to administer a booster dose (most often a third dose) to every over 40 years. Its advice is generally followed by the government. Until now, this recall only concerned people over 65 and people at serious risk. From December 15, it will be required to extend their health pass.

President Emmanuel Macron announced in early November that the recall would be available to 50-64 year olds from December 1. And shortly before the publication of the HAS opinion on Friday, he sold the fuse on enlargement: “I wouldn’t be surprised if we were gradually moving towards booster shots for all adults who have been vaccinated, that’s the meaning of the story”, he said during a trip to the North.

The systematic recall for all, decided by Germany and probably soon the United States, however, does not achieve consensus among all scientists. Some argue that two doses are still very effective against severe forms of illness and death, and that the urgent need is to vaccinate those who have not had any doses. In France, this concerns some 6 million people among the eligible population (over 12 years old).

– What is the situation with regard to contamination?

The “5th wave is here”, warned government spokesman Gabriel Attal on Wednesday November 17. This can be seen in the number of daily contaminations. On average calculated over 7 days, it reached 16,000, three times more than a month ago. And the number of closed classes, more than 4,000, is the highest since the start of the September school year, according to the Ministry of National Education.

This outbreak of infections is however lower for the moment than that observed in other European countries, including Austria, Germany or the Netherlands. The government attributes this to the health pass in effect since July.

– What’s the situation at the hospital?

As in previous waves, the issue is whether this outbreak of infections will lead to a massive influx to the hospital. For now, it’s no: less than 8,000 Covid patients are hospitalized in France, according to figures published on Friday, including 1,353 in critical care services, against 6,500 and 1,000 respectively a month earlier.

This “Decorrelation” Between “Contaminations and hospitalizations”, in the words of Mr. Attal, is attributed to vaccination: it remains very effective in preventing severe forms, even if it is less effective against contamination with the Delta variant. However, Gabriel Attal warned against a “Thrill” hospitalizations, which encourages “Vigilance”.

– Are we going towards a tightening of measures towards the unvaccinated?

Some health professionals are calling for tougher measures against the unvaccinated in the face of the resurgence of Covid-19 cases. This is what Austria did, which became the first EU country to confine them on Monday before announcing on Friday that the containment would ultimately concern everyone and especially that the vaccination would be ” obligatory “ from February, a first in the EU.

“The countries that confine the unvaccinated are those that have not implemented the pass. This measure is therefore not necessary in France ”, however assured Emmanuel Macron in an interview with La Voix du Nord posted online Thursday evening.

Others would like to replace the health pass with a vaccination pass, as Germany announced on Thursday: having a negative test would no longer be enough to enter certain places and you would have to be vaccinated. “Nothing is excluded in principle. But is this a track we are working on, which is discussed in the Defense Council? At this point, no ”, commented Gabriel Attal, Tuesday on France Inter.

– Are barrier gestures neglected?

In addition to the vaccine, the authorities insist on barrier gestures, which are relaxed: wear a mask, ventilate, wash your hands … “All of this needs to be reinforced, well explained. We have our security in our hands ”, Insisted Friday on LCI the Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot, according to whom the mask could become compulsory in theaters.

But in reverse of these instructions, Prime Minister Jean Castex and Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin were filmed Tuesday evening shaking hands, without a mask. This earned them strong criticism. “We are all human”, pleaded Wednesday Mr. Attal. “Remember to take it out when you take a fine”, ironically on Twitter the newspaper Fakir, founded by the deputy LFI François Ruffin.


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