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French health authority backs second booster dose for over 65s at risk

An extra Covid vaccine shot is already being offered to over 80s

Someone getting a Covid vaccination

Over 65s at risk of serious forms of Covid should be able to get a second booster vaccine dose, France's health service quality regulator has said Pic: Yuganov Konstantin / Shutterstock

France’s Haute Autorité de santé (HAS) has backed offering people aged over 65 with health issues that put them at risk from Covid a second vaccine booster dose. 

The health service quality regulator put forward the recommendation in a report published yesterday (March 18). The government usually follows the opinion of the HAS. It has so far made no announcement on the HAS’ report. 

Over 80s in France are already eligible for a booster Covid dose. This usually means a fourth shot, but can be fewer as catching Covid acts as a substitute for a vaccine dose in many cases. 

The HAS stated that for over 65s, the second booster shot should be given at least six months after the first. This is so as to not reduce vaccination take up rates by making the population tired of “too frequent” booster doses. 

It also said that the dose should only be for those who wish to have it. 

The report stated that it was not relevant to make a second booster dose available to the rest of the population, due to both a lack of data on its necessity and the issue of whether it would be accepted. 

The European Medicines Agency has taken a similar position. 

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