“We must ensure that children are vaccinated” – Tahrir

COVID-19 pandemic in FranceIssue

In the face of Covid-19 infections that are increasing again, the head of the Vaccine Strategy Steering Board is particularly referring to the need to vaccinate the youngest.

Re-infection, increased contamination with the BA.2 subvariable, and the fourth dose of new, more fragile vaccines… The list of pandemic twists and turns continues to grow. Since the beginning of the month, infections are on the rise again. asked by ReleaseAlain Fischer, Chair of the Vaccine Strategy Steering Board, gave an update on the situation in France.

The number of casualties and injured people being admitted to critical care is rising. Should we really be talking about the sixth wave of Covid or can we still consider it a simple epidemic recovery?

It all depends on the importance of the bounce or wave. There was a drop in the last omicron wave. But, over the past 3-4 weeks, we have again noticed a rise mainly due to the BA.2 variant. Is this called a wave or a bounce? It doesn’t matter, what matters is what you mean. Today, we know that this variant is not more aggressive than BA.1 but it is more contagious. BA.2 is responsible for the significant increase in cases and the increase in hospitalizations, which are still very low at the moment. At the moment, all audiences are affected, especially children. Fortunately, for most people, this does not have serious consequences, but unfortunately, when it comes to frail or elderly people, there can be hospitalization in critical care, or even death. And some do not necessarily have to be fully vaccinated, so they are difficult even if the virus is less virulent than before.

The booster dose is open to all adults over the age of 18, many of whom have received it since November 27. Is it still effective?

With Omicron, we know that vaccination protects against dangerous forms for several months and to a lesser degree from infection. But the duration of effectiveness will depend on the person. Because the disease is more severe in the elderly, for whom vaccination is also less effective. So the duration and quality of protection is lower in the elderly. This is why for the past few weeks, a second reminder is recommended. [une 4e dose, ndlr] For people over 80 because they are the most fragile, apart from people with severely compromised immunity for whom there were already additional booster recommendations. Then there’s the ever-present recommendation: that people who haven’t yet gotten their first reminder [3e dose, ndlr]And About 3 or 4 million in France, remember. Then there is an ongoing consideration to see if people between the ages of 60 and 80 will also need a fourth dose. This has already been implemented in some countries. The question was studied in France but only for the elderly, because under 60 we can consider that those with recall have a level of protection against dangerous forms that is still very good at the moment.

The Moderna Laboratory has announced its desire to order a license for a vaccine for children from 6 months to 6 years of age. Is it advisable to offer these vaccinations to children under the age of five, given that in France only 2.5% of children aged 5-9 years and 7.5% of 10-11 years are fully vaccinated against Covid?

The problem is primarily to ensure that children between the ages of 5 and 11 are vaccinated because it has failed at the moment in France. Only 10% of vulnerable children, who are more likely to develop severe forms, have received the vaccine. The immediate goal would be to make it clear, first to doctors and then to families, that it is worth vaccinating your child between the ages of 5 and 11, that there is no risk and that this vaccination is effective because, even if children are less at risk than adults, the omicron variant is highly contagious In children there are still forms that require hospitalization. Certainly not in very large numbers, but it still accounts for a few hundred hospitalizations. It also promotes the spread of the virus in schools, leads to classroom closures, and children are also likely to infect their grandparents. It would be good if this could be avoided thanks to the vaccination of children, which is more prevalent in neighboring countries.

The European Medicines Agency indicated, on Tuesday, that the Spanish laboratory vaccine Hebra appears to be effective against the Omicron variant. What do we know about the development of these new vaccines?

The current vaccine is effective against the omicron variant. For this to be the case, you must have received the primary vaccination, that is, the first two doses, and then the vaccination. And with this vaccination schedule, we have a level of protection against dangerous forms that exceeds 90%. Moreover, according to experimental data, it is not at all clear that a vaccine targeting the omicron “spike” protein will be more effective than the others. What is envisaged in the future, by anticipating the risk of new variants of which we do not know the nature, is the use of vaccines, such as those of Hipra, which combine several spikes to cover a broader range of viruses and increase the chances that this future vaccine will be effective on any species. But a priori, that wouldn’t happen before the fall. By that time, hopefully the summer will be calm and we can offer a booster vaccine to people at risk with this type of vaccine.

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