Anti-Covid vaccines: why France recommends a single dose for people already infected

The High Authority for Health (HAS) recommended this friday to “offer only one dose” of vaccine against Covid-19 to people “who have already had an infection” with the coronavirus. France thus becomes the first country to make such a recommendation.

People cured of Covid-19 “have already developed an immune memory during the infection. The single dose of vaccine will thus play a reminder role”, explains the HAS in its opinion, which has yet to receive approval. of the government. The authority also recommends to wait “beyond three months” after the illness, “and preferably six months”, before injecting this single dose.

Save doses

“To date, no country has clearly positioned itself on a one-dose vaccination for people who contracted Covid-19 prior to the vaccination”, she underlines. In recent days, this solution was mentioned in several studies carried out in the United States and Italy, and not yet evaluated by other scientists.

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In addition to the health benefits, the researchers behind this work pointed out that giving a single injection to people already ill in the past could save doses in a context of constrained supply.

The French government generally follows the advice of the Haute Autorité de Santé. At the end of January, however, he felt that the time between the two doses of Pfizer vaccine could not be increased, contrary to the recommendation issued a few days earlier by the HAS.

Nearly 535,800 people received two doses

The health authorities are betting heavily on the progress of the vaccination campaign to face the epidemic situation which remains fragile, but the road is still long: Thursday, 2,135,333 people had received at least one dose of vaccine in France, including 535 775 people two doses.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, 3.4 million cases of infections confirmed by a screening test have been recorded in France. More people have likely contracted the virus, especially during the first wave, when testing was not widely available.

The three Covid-19 vaccines currently authorized in the European Union (Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca / Oxford) require two doses to be fully effective in people who have never been in contact with the virus. That of Johnson & Johnson, currently under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), however requires a single injection.


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