France to start offering booster dose from September

Paris, Aug 5 (EFE).- France is preparing to administer a booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine “for the oldest and most fragile people”, president Emmanuel Macron said Thursday.

In a video posted on social media, where the French president has been answering questions from citizens from his summer residence in Bregançon, Macron said that France would start injecting the new dose from September onwards.

“A third dose will certainly be necessary, not for everyone right away, but for the most elderly and the most fragile. That is why we are preparing for this third dose,” the president said.

Macron pointed out the policy would be guided by advice from scientists, who say that “it has been established that in order to fight efficiently against the virus, boosters” of the vaccine will be necessary for immunosuppressed people.

The French president also said “other European countries” are making similar preparations.

Germany’s health minister Jens Spahn said this week that, from September, certain vulnerable groups would receive a third jab, and those who have been inoculated with the AstraZeneca or Johnson&Johnson vaccines would also be offered a booster dose, after those preparations were found to be less effective.

Germany will also make getting vaccinated easier for teenagers.

The United Kingdom has said that it will begin offering a third dose from September, while Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett on Thursday urged all Israelis over the age of 60 to get a booster shot.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended a global moratorium on administering a booster dose and to consider delaying the vaccination of adolescents in rich countries.

Many poorer regions of the world are lagging far behind the West, where many countries have more than half their populations fully inoculated.

Over 80% of the 4 billion vaccines administered globally have been in high and middle income countries, which account for less than half of the world population, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, highlighting the unequal access to the most efficient tool against the pandemic.

According to the WHO, inequality in vaccine distribution is growing rather than falling, with Europe surpassing the 50% vaccination rate and the United States closing in on 70%.

Meanwhile only 2% of people living in Africa have received the full course of the Covid-19 vaccine, and 5% have been given one dose. EFE


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