Children in France aged 12 to 17 can now be vaccinated against Covid-19 with the Moderna vaccine, health authority the Haute autorité de santé (HAS) announced yesterday (July 28).
It is the second vaccine to be approved for this age bracket after Pfizer-BioNTech was given the green light in mid-June.
“In the context of high circulation of the Delta variant, the HAS validates the integration of the Moderna vaccine in the vaccination strategy", the authority wrote in a press release.
The HAS stressed that the Delta variant, which is thought to be at least twice as contagious as other variants, “is leading to a significant increase in the number of new Covid cases” and that “the number of hospitalisations and admissions to intensive care units have started to rise again in recent days”.
The authority recommends the vaccine be given “as a priority” to adolescents with serious underlying health issues or those who live with someone who is immunocompromised.
It should help to allow all children in this age bracket to have a “more normal social life and to maintain their access to education,” the HAS stated.
Will children need a health pass?
France will extend the requirement of a health pass (pass sanitaire) - which is proof of a person’s Covid status through vaccination or test certificates - to include bars, cafes, restaurants, long-distance transport services, etc. from August 9.
Children aged 12 to 17, though, will not need to use a health pass until September 30.
The health pass will not be required to access schools.
However, secondary school children who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to stay in school if another pupil in their class tests positive for Covid, while unvaccinated pupils will have to be schooled from home for the duration of their self-isolation period, France’s education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer announced yesterday (July 28).
In-person primary school classes for all pupils will be cancelled if one positive Covid case is detected.