In September, the European Medicines Agency authorized three new so-called “bivalent” vaccines, targeting both the original strain of Covid-19 as well as the Omicron variant.
On September 20, the High Authority for Health (HAS) gave the green light for the use of three new so-called “bivalent” vaccines, attacking both the original strain of Covid-19 and the Omicron variant, the origin of the majority of new infections in France.
This Tuesday on Franceinfo, the Minister of Solidarity and Health François Braun indicated that the injection of these new vaccines would begin “from October 3”, in a context of epidemic resumption. 7,489 new positive Covid-19 cases were detected as of September 26, an increase of 43.5% in seven days.
“There is recirculation of the virus, therefore there is remobilization”, declared François Braun.
Vaccines targeting Omicron
Among these new validated vaccines, there are two serums, developed by Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna, which target both the original strain of Covid-19 as well as the Omicron BA.1 variant. The third serum was developed by Pfizer BioNTech, and targets the BA.4 and BA.5 variants of Omicron. The objective is to adapt the vaccines to the variants that circulate most actively, and therefore to make the response provided by the authorities more appropriate.
But these updated vaccines are not intended for the general population. Yes, “we are moving towards a new booster dose”, declared François Braun. But “not for the whole population”.
“HAS has been clear and continues to tell us to vaccinate a target population: fragile people, people over 60, people who have not been vaccinated from this second booster this summer must be vaccinated, those who have been vaccinated will be revaccinated,” he continued.
Earlier than the HAS schedule
The date of October 3 announced by François Braun on Tuesday is nevertheless going faster than the schedule recommended by the HAS. In its opinion of September 20, the Authority had underlined “the interest of coupling this new campaign with that of vaccination against seasonal influenza which will start on October 18 next”.
As for the return of the mask in transport or possible epidemic braking measures, these decisions are not on the agenda, said François Braun, who is betting on the good citizenship of the French. “Let’s take up the good gestures that our fellow citizens have adopted since the start of the crisis”, limited himself to commenting on the minister.