The booster (most often a third dose) will be opened “from this Saturday” for all adults, five months after their last injection, announced Thursday the Minister of Health Olivier Véran.
This recall for the moment only concerned people over 65, people at risk of severe form and caregivers, and was done six months after the last injection and not five.
“You can already go to online appointment booking platforms to reserve your slots,” added the minister during a press conference intended to detail the measures to combat the rebound in the economy. ‘epidemic.
“In practice, this concerns 25 million French people, 6 million of whom have already received their booster, so there remain 19 million French people to date who become eligible for the booster vaccination and whom we call on to be vaccinated in the next two months”, he clarified.
From December 15 for those over 65 and from January 15 for those aged 18-64, this booster dose will be mandatory for the health pass to remain valid.
This does not mean that the injection must necessarily have been made before these dates, which simply correspond to the entry into force of the mechanism: it means that from these dates, the pass of these people will be deactivated if they do not have not had a booster dose at most 7 months after the last injection.
In addition, the period of validity of negative tests giving entitlement to the health pass will be reduced from 72 to 24 hours. Again, this is an additional constraint for the unvaccinated.
Beyond the vaccine, the authorities insist on the importance of barrier gestures to stem this wave described as dazzling: masks, ventilation, hand washing, etc.
The rules are also toughened. The mask will once again become compulsory “everywhere indoors” in places open to the public, including where the health pass is requested (restaurants, cinemas, nightclubs …).
“The prefects will also be empowered to make it compulsory to wear a mask for outdoor events, such as for example Christmas markets”, which will be subject to the health pass, “or second-hand goods”, according to Mr. Véran.
In contrast to these hardening, the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, announced that there would be no more class closures in primary schools from the first case of Covid detected in a student. Only those who test positive will be isolated.
“Our compass remains the priority of an open school”, underlined Mr. Blanquer, indicating that “8,500 schools (were) closed yesterday (Wednesday), against 4,100 on November 19”.
Children and vaccine
Ultimately, the other major change for primary school students could be the opening of vaccination, after the approval of Pfizer’s vaccine for 5-11 year olds by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
France is thinking about it and Olivier Véran has referred the matter to the National Ethics Committee (CCNE) as well as the High Authority for Health (HAS). “In any case, this vaccination, if it were decided in France, would not start before the beginning of the year 2022”, said the Minister of Education.
“There may be a vaccine for 5-12 year olds, if that were to happen it would be optional,” added Mr. Blanquer.
If this fifth wave is “undoubtedly stronger, longer than (…) that of this summer”, it is envisaged at this stage “neither containment, nor curfew, nor early closing of businesses nor restrictions of displacement, “tried to reassure the Minister of Health for his part.
“We can pass this wave without resorting to the most restrictive tools” that certain European countries such as Austria have already imposed, he hoped.
The number of cases has been increasing very rapidly in France for several days, reaching 32,591 new contaminations on Wednesday, the highest since April 24.
For the moment, the surge in contamination is not accompanied by a surge in hospitalizations, despite an increase in recent days. The government blames this on a high vaccination rate compared to other European countries.