Around 200,000 people in France have booked an appointment for their third Covid-19 vaccine dose, it has been announced.
Since Monday (August 30), over-65s and people with health conditions putting them at high risk of serious illness with Covid-19 have been able to book their booster dose, as long as they received their second over six months ago.
On September 11, a third dose vaccination campaign will begin in French care homes.
Other vulnerable groups within the French population “are likely to benefit from the third dose over the course of the autumn, depending on the development of our scientific understanding,” said public health body, Direction générale de la santé on August 27.
The rollout officially began on Wednesday (September, 1), when Health Minister Olivier Véran said that 200,000 appointments had been made “in just 48 hours.”
He estimated that 18 million people in France will be eligible for a booster dose, which is being offered under recommendations from the health service quality regulator, Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS).
HAS cited recent – as yet inconclusive – studies as suggesting that all of the existing vaccines become less effective at preventing infection over time, especially in the case of the Delta variant.
A gradual – and only slight – reduction in effectiveness has also been observed in the vaccine’s ability to fight serious illness.
Those who originally received the single-dose Janssen vaccine will also be invited for a booster injection at least four weeks after their first.