Covid vaccine booster doses should be given to people aged 40 and over, six months after their second dose, France’s health service quality regulator the Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS) has recommended in a report published yesterday (November 19).
The French government follows the opinions of the HAS on most health policies.
President Emmanuel Macron announced on November 9 that the booster dose campaign would be expanded to include everyone aged 50 and over from the beginning of December.
This step was reiterated by health minister Olivier Véran yesterday, who also said that following the HAS’ report, the extension of the booster dose to under 50s would be considered in the near future.
À la suite de l'avis de la @HAS_sante, le rappel vaccinal contre le Covid sera bien ouvert aux personnes âgées de 50 ans et plus dès début décembre comme annoncé par le président de la République.— Olivier Véran (@olivierveran) November 19, 2021
L'élargissement du rappel aux moins de 50 ans sera étudié prochainement.
Mr Macron said yesterday before the HAS report that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if booster shots were offered to all adults at some stage, Le Monde reported.
“It’s the way things are going,” he said.
France is currently offering booster doses six months after the second dose to:
People over 65
People at risk of serious forms of Covid (including those with diabetes and obesity issues)
People who are severely immunocompromised together with their close friends and family
People who received one dose of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine are eligible to receive a booster vaccine dose in France (four weeks after the first dose)
From December 15, all over 65s will need to have had a booster dose six months and five weeks after their second jab in order for their vaccination certificates to remain valid with the health pass (pass sanitaire) system. The five weeks is to give people time to find an appointment.
What did the HAS report?
The authority said that it analysed real-life data, taking into account the situation in Israel where booster shots are being offered to everyone aged 12 and over.
Based on that, the HAS said that the booster dose confers excellent levels of protection against infection, “including in people under 60 years of age”.
It added that there was not yet enough data available to analyse whether additional doses should be given to people under 40.
It wrote that the rarity of severe cases or death in under 40s who have been vaccinated did not allow it to “formally conclude” what protection a booster shot would offer to this demographic.
Authorities in the US yesterday gave the green light for booster shots to be given to all adults.