Covid: could the 4th dose be generalized for everyone from the start of the school year in September?

The virus is circulating strongly in France and despite a downward trend and restrictions still being lifted, the fourth dose of vaccine is open to people over 60. An option that could be generalized by the start of the school year?

At the start of the school year in September, will it be necessary to go through the vaccination box again? Not impossible. According to infectious disease specialist Bruno Mégarbane, we must not rule out the possibility of having to “redo a 4th dose for the entire population, but then we’ll see depending on the variants that will circulate”he says this Sunday, April 24 on FranceInfo.

According to the infectiologist, the variants that will circulate in the coming months will be decisive and for the time being, no variant seems to stand out in terms of propagation or virulence.

Acquired immunity

“All new variants and sub-variants look very similar to the generation before and, in fact, the immunity that we have acquired and that we maintain thanks to these reinfections makes it possible to protect the population against the serious forms of the disease”he analyzes.

Since April 7, the possibility of a second booster dose, already open to people over 80, has been recorded. People considered to be more fragile can therefore receive it from 6 months after the last injection and from three months for those aged 80 and over.

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Covid: delay, infection… in which cases is the 4th dose for the over 60s recommended?

For Yves Buisson, epidemiologist of the Covid-19 cell at the National Academy of Medicine, generalizing the 4th dose for all is not, however, a priority.

Annual vaccination, once the pandemic phase is over?

“The idea of ​​ensuring constant protection for people at risk is perhaps the beginning of a long-term strategy to fight against the coronavirus: we know that it is a seasonal disease, so it may be wise, when we are no longer in the pandemic phase, to offer annual vaccinationlike that of the flu, for the most fragile,” he told La Dépêche.

Like Bruno Mégarbane, he believes that the strategy to be adopted according to the new variants will be decisive. While the subvariant BA.2 now accounts for 99% of footage as of April 4as Public Health France indicated in its last weekly bulletin, other rarer variants or recombinants are also subject to monitoring.

This is particularly the case of the XD variant, detected in several dozen people in France, and which is placed under enhanced surveillance. “The stable detection of the XD variant at low levels is rather in favor of a greater absence of competitiveness of this variant compared to BA.2, which is the majority today”, indicate for the time being the scientists of SPF.

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