France is set to make a decision on whether to vaccinate under-12s against Covid in early 2022, the health minister has said, in a new interview that also discussed booster jabs and rising Covid cases.
Olivier Véran was speaking on TF1, the day after President Emmanuel Macron’s TV speech on the latest Covid situation.
➡ #Covid19 : sur la #vaccination des enfants de moins de 12 ans— TF1LeJT (@TF1LeJT) November 10, 2021
️@olivierveran : "Il n'y aura pas de décision avant la fin de l'année ou début 2022"
Explications sur @TF1 https://t.co/hxduEPnqL2
Vaccinations for under-12s?
Mr Véran said that from mid-December, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is set to “tell us transparently if the benefit-risk ratio of vaccinating 5-11-year-olds justifies authorisation or not”.
He said: “There will be no decision before the end of the year or the start of 2022. What the US is showing, and what [US medicines agency] the Food and Drug Administration is telling us, is that the vaccine is effective. But we will see what the French and European authorities say.”
The minister also said that the booster campaign is “going well”, after an “absolute record” 214,000 booster doses were administered on November 10, the day after Mr Macron’s speech.
Mr Véran said that three-quarters of eligible people aged 65 and over have already had a booster dose. He said: “We have passed four million boosters.”
Yet, Mr Véran was more pessimistic about the current state of the epidemic in France. The incidence rate (number of cases per 100,000 people) has risen 40% in the past week.
The minister said: “[We are] very clearly at the start of a fifth wave.”
But, he said: “The big difference [now] is that because we are vaccinated and continuing to respect barrier gestures, we can ride this wave out as we did the fourth wave: We have had some ill people, but at the same time we had fewer people in hospital and fewer deaths.”