From three to six weeks: this period between the injection of the two doses of vaccines constitutes a “reasonable” option, assures this Saturday the High Authority of Health (HAS), to protect the most vulnerable and to face the “epidemic outbreak” .
“In a context of limitation in the number of vaccine doses and in order to allow an increase in the vaccination coverage of the most vulnerable people in the short term, the extension of the time between two vaccine doses is an option to be considered”, indicates the HAS .
The World Health Organization, the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM) and Public Health France have already issued an opinion to this effect.
A “limited” loss of efficiency
The vaccination schedule followed so far is the administration of two doses at least 21 days apart for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 28 days for that produced by Moderna. The extension of the injection time of the two doses would make it possible to “accelerate the administration of the first dose to the most vulnerable people”, that is, according to the projections of the HAS, at least 700,000 additional people “who would be protected by the vaccine “on the first month of application of this measure.
At the individual level, “the risk of loss of efficacy” of the vaccine between two doses “seems limited”, indicates the HAS.
The results of phase 3 clinical trials for messenger RNA vaccines “show efficacy of the Comirnaty® vaccine from Pfizer BioNtech which starts from the 12th day after the first dose and that of the Moderna vaccine from the 14th day after the first dose, ”she explains. Subsequently, the oldest vaccinated people “show a satisfactory immunological response and vaccine efficacy similar to that found in the youngest people”.
Three conditions to respect
But for such a measure of spacing of vaccine doses to accelerate vaccination coverage and slow down the circulation of the virus, the High Authority considers that three prerequisites must be met.
The first one: vaccinate those most at risk in order of priority, namely those aged 75 and over, then “those aged 65 to 74, starting with those with co-morbidities”, and therefore more risk of death linked to Covid.
Deuxio, the implementation of this modification of the vaccination schedule must be “rapid”.
Thirdly “all available doses of both vaccines” should be used and “vaccine capacity including, during potential periods of confinement” must be maintained.
The High Authority is also working on new indications for saliva sampling tests, recommended for the time being to people with symptoms. These tests, much less invasive than those by nasopharyngeal swab, could be extended to asymptomatic people.
Source: A la Une – Le Progrès | Le Progrès by www.leprogres.fr.
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