“Vaccination remains a pillar of the fight against Covid”

On August 17, immunologist Brigitte Autran, HIV specialist, former practitioner at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital and professor emeritus at Sorbonne-University, was appointed head of the new risk monitoring and anticipation committee. health, responsible for replacing the Scientific Council and the Vaccine Strategy Orientation Council. In an interview with “Le Monde”, she details her missions and outlines the prospects for the coming months.

In France, 50 people still die of Covid-19 every day in hospital. The epidemic has become commonplace, while globally, the bar of one million deaths for the year 2022 alone was crossed the week of August 22. In total, the pandemic has officially killed almost 6.5 million people – probably three times as many. How do you see the situation in the coming weeks?

Experts are all confident that there will be a recovery in the fall, perhaps when temperatures drop. For the moment, as in most countries, we are in the bottom of the wave. It’s hard to believe that a new wave will fall on us next week. But you have to be very careful. For the past few days, the decline in the circulation of the virus has slowed down.

Faced with this expected resurgence, what are your priorities?

Vaccination remains a pillar in the fight against this pandemic. The reminder [quatrième injection dans la plupart des cas] now concerns all people over 60, pregnant women, those under 60 at risk of serious forms [personnes immunodéprimées ou atteintes de comorbidités comme les cancers ou les maladies rénales chroniques] and the entourage of vulnerable people. I really insist that this fourth injection be done as soon as possible. This booster is recommended from six months after the last dose, or from three months for people aged 80 and over, residents of nursing homes and long-term care units as well as immunocompromised people. Repeating the vaccination every three to six months did not induce any deleterious effect. In addition, effective treatments are available for frail people and should be used.

“People at risk should not wait! All current vaccines continue to protect very effectively against severe forms.

What do you expect from the upcoming arrival of new vaccines bivalents”, which target both the historic strain of the virus (the one that raged at the end of 2019 in Wuhan, China) and the Omicron variant (in its first version, BA.1)?

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