Finally, there is no longer any question of spacing out the second injection! While the High Authority for Health (HAS) had given, Saturday, January 23, a favorable opinion for a period of up to six weeks between the two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, Olivier Véran rejects the hypothesis. “The question was good and legitimate, but safety comes first, announced the Minister of Health, Tuesday, January 26, during a press conference. We therefore maintain the period of 21 or 28 days between the two doses. “
In its recommendations, the HAS explained that postponing the second dose would make it possible to vaccinate 700,000 additional people. “But in the end, in April, we would have the same number of people vaccinated”, calculated Alain Fischer, chairman of the Steering Committee for the anti-Covid-19 vaccine strategy.
Above all, the specialist fears less protection. Clinical trials do not conclude on the effectiveness of a first dose, since everyone has received the second. “People who received it up to six weeks later represent a statistically too low share”, he recalled.
The first comebacks are not very convincing. “In Israel, where the vaccination campaign is well advanced, protection against the disease is only 33% between the first and the second dose in those over 60 years old, said Alain Fischer. The level of neutralizing antibodies is also low, although this does not mean that we are poorly protected against the disease. ” Researchers are still unaware of what the “ideal” level of antibodies would be for an effective defense against Covid.
For Alain Fischer, the arrival of new variants, which could lead to wanting to vaccinate as many people as possible, means on the contrary that we must ensure that we have the most effective protection possible. And therefore respect the planned protocol. “Not to mention the difficulties in understanding and logistics that would result from a change in the schedule on the ground. “ Olivier Véran said 1.1 million people had been vaccinated in the country so far.