Third dose of Covid vital, future doses may be needed, French Senate said

The third dose of the Covid vaccine is vital and in the future we may need new vaccines, Jean-François Delfraissy, chairman of the government’s official advisory body on Covid, told the Senate today (December 8).

He said there were limits to the messenger RNA vaccination used by both Pfizer and Moderna because “we have seen that they lose their effectiveness over time. We need new vaccines for a second and a third generation.

Mr. Delfraissy, President of the Scientific Council, was questioned by the Senate Social Affairs Committee on the speed of the fifth wave which continues to hit France.
As of December 7, more than 59,000 new cases have been reported in France.

Read more: France announces six new Covid measures to fight the fifth wave

He said he was opposed to sending the third dose to third world countries: “It is scientific heresy. I totally disagree with the WHO [World Health Organization] on this topic. It is a political point of view and not a health one.

He says if we don’t want to lose the benefits of the vaccination program so far, there must be a third dose in the north [hemisphere] countries.

“We have a significant number of 80-year-olds, 300,000 or 400,000 who are not vaccinated. We must continue to reach out to them to try to convince this elderly population that with the arrival of the new variant there is an additional argument for them to be vaccinated.

The Scientific Council, he said, was also sending a “very strong message” to health workers to take the third dose and that the means to do so should be in place.

At present, only 30% [of the health workers] had the third dose, and that it was not enough: “they must protect themselves, protect the patients they care for and protect the families.

He agreed that a third dose didn’t completely stop someone from contracting the virus, but it significantly lowered the risk. He says this has been demonstrated by statistics from Israel.

In response to a question about the need for a fourth dose, Mr Delfraissy said it was a possibility, although at present he said we do not know for how long the third dose will remain effective, so it is impossible to know when and if it might be needed.

Regarding vaccinations for children from 5 to 11 years old, he specifies that if they are approved, the Scientific Council would not want them to be compulsory or to form part of a health passport for children because that would be “the best way to protect them. ‘scare people away. “, but they would recommend it.

The health authority, La Haute Autorité de Santé, will issue its recommendation within the next ten days, he said. French scientists are waiting to receive the results from the United States where the vaccination program for 5-11 year olds began three weeks ago.

In schools, he said there could be systematic testing from January, which the Scientific Council, he said, had already been in favor of since September, but was in the hands of the government of decide.

However, he said that “this crisis will not be solved by vaccination alone”, and that the health barriers are very important.

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