Covid: when will the new vaccination campaign start?

A new vaccination campaign against Covid-19 will be launched next fall in France.

Covid: when will the new vaccination campaign start?

A new vaccination campaign against Covid-19 will be launched next fall in France. Essentially intended for people at risk, it will be conducted in conjunction with that against seasonal flu.

We haven't finished hearing about Covid-19 in France. In an interministerial information note published on July 19, 2023 and relayed by franceinfo, the Directorate General for Health (DGS) draws up the outlines of the next vaccination campaign against Covid-19, which will begin next fall and will be especially for people at risk. This vaccination campaign against Covid-19 will be carried out in conjunction with that against seasonal flu.

In its latest situation update published on August 11, which covers the week of July 31 to August 6, Public Health France reports that the indicators on Covid-19 "remain at low levels", but nevertheless warns that "the current situation requires us to remain vigilant". There was indeed a slight increase in emergency room visits due to Covid-19, all ages combined, during the week of July 31 to August 6 compared to the previous week (928 against 712). If the DGS assured, during a point on August 11 relayed by Ouest-France, that the authorities are "not worried", vigilance is therefore still required.

The new vaccination campaign against Covid-19 and seasonal flu will begin on October 17 in mainland France, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Guyana. It will start on September 6 for the inhabitants of Mayotte. The DGS specifies however that "in the event of an anticipated epidemic resumption of Covid-19, the vaccination campaign against Covid-19 will be implemented without delay". “There is no prioritization period for people targeted by the flu and Covid-19 recommendations,” adds the DGS.

People at risk are recommended to get vaccinated against Covid-19 during this new campaign. These people at risk are detailed in a document from the High Authority for Health (HAS) published last February. These include people aged 65 and over, and people aged 6 months or older with comorbidities and therefore at higher risk of severe disease. The comorbidities cited by the HAS are as follows: complicated arterial hypertension, heart, vascular, liver, kidney, lung problems, diabetes, obesity, cancers, transplant recipients, people with Down syndrome, psychiatric disorders or dementia.

It is also recommended that pregnant women and immunocompromised people get vaccinated. People living in the neighborhood or having regular contact with immunocompromised or vulnerable people are also encouraged to get vaccinated, including professionals in the health and medico-social sectors, but also people with other comorbidities. In the latter case, the individual medical situation must be taken into account.

If you are not one of the people to whom it is recommended to be vaccinated, know that you still have the possibility of participating in this new vaccination campaign. “Vaccination is 100% covered for all,” recalls the Health Insurance in a document published on its site on August 4. However, you must ensure that your last vaccine injection or Covid-19 infection was at least six months ago to receive a new vaccine. This deadline also concerns all French people.

The DGS details in its interministerial information note the vaccines against Covid-19 available on July 6 in France. For primary vaccination, these include the three monovalent Pfizer vaccines, intended respectively for people aged 6 months to 4 years, 5 to 11 years and 12 years and older. Also available is the Novavax vaccine (12 years and older).

For additional or booster doses, the following vaccines are available: Pfizer Bivalent Adapted Vaccines (12 years and older), Moderna Bivalent Adapted Vaccine (30 years and older), Novavax Vaccine (12 years and older) and the Sanofi vaccine (18 years and older). In its document published last February, the HAS "preferentially recommends the administration of bivalent vaccines adapted to Omicron, whatever the vaccine(s) previously administered".

The DGS also adds that "the Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax laboratories should also offer new vaccines adapted to the variants in circulation for the fall". Indeed, as franceinfo reminds us, these laboratories are currently developing new vaccines intended to attack the XBB1.5 variant, a sub-variant of Covid-19 which resembles the Eris variant, now the majority in France. But the date of availability of these new vaccines "is still very uncertain", writes the DGS.

As mentioned above, this vaccination campaign against Covid-19 is carried out in conjunction with that against influenza. The DGS recalls in this regard that "the simultaneous production of vaccines against influenza and Covid-19 is possible". “Concretely, the two injections can be performed at the same time, on two separate vaccination sites (for example, an injection in each arm)”, continues the DGS, indicating moreover “that there is no delay particular to be observed between the two vaccinations if these cannot be carried out at the same time".