Covid-19: elderly and frail people can be vaccinated against Omicron subvariants from October 18 – Le Monde

Covid-19: elderly and frail people can be vaccinated against Omicron subvariants from October 18 – Le Monde

The High Authority for Health (HAS) recommended for the injection of another dose of the vaccine against Covid-19 in two announcements published on Tuesday, September 20indifferently administer one of the three vaccines modified for the Omicron subvariants recently validated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Consistent with his previous viewsthe independent body that has guided the government’s vaccination strategy since the start of the health crisis recommends combining this new campaign with the seasonal flu campaign, which starts on October 18.

As has been the case for several monthsthis additional dose is intended for persons at risk of developing a severe form of the disease, i.e. for all persons aged 60 and over, immunocompromised patients regardless of their age, also for those around them, pregnant women, children and adolescents at high risk, and finally experts in healthcare and the medical-social sector.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Covid-19: elderly and frail people can be vaccinated against Omicron subvariants from 18 October

However, in light of the resurgence of the outbreak that began two weeks ago, the HAS is recommending that those at very high risk who have not received a second booster within the recommended time frame—that is, three or six months depending on age and date of administration. recent injection or infection – request a new injection now. Only 30% of over-60s have already received a second booster and the injection rate is at its lowest level in six months. “The original vaccines are still effective against severe forms; if you are too far from the last reminder, you should not wait another month », warns Dominique Le Guludec, president of HAS.

Adapting to the current threat

Vaccines approved 1ahem and September 12 EMA are those developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna; they are called “bivalent” because they target both the original strain of SARS-COV-2 – known as the “Wuhan strain” like all vaccines given to date – and the Omicron subvariant type. While Pfizer-BioNTech was approved for two vaccines, one targeting BA.1 and the other BA.4 and BA.5, Moderna only received approval for its BA.1-modified vaccine.

In fact, they are not new vaccines, as they use the same technology as those that have gained ground around the world in the fight against Covid-19: messenger RNA. They were simply updated to better match the current threat born from the Omicron family, which first retreated in France with the BA.1, then the BA.2, BA.4 and now the ultra hegemonic BA.5. In this, they can be compared to seasonal flu vaccines, which are updated each year to account for the viruses most likely to circulate in the winter.

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