A booster dose of coronavirus vaccine can be administered as soon as three months after the first course of vaccination, the French National Authority for Health (HAS) said today.
The health authority said that the spread of the Omicron variant motivated its decision to shorten the length of time before a booster dose can be administered from the five months that had been previously set.
The variant appears to largely side-step immunity granted by a normal course of vaccination, but booster doses have been shown to substantially reduce the chance of infection.
The health authority also recommended that booster shots be administered to vulnerable adolescents between 12 and 17 years of age. The category includes adolescents who suffer from immune system problems or who have co-morbidities that are linked to severe COVID-19.
HAS cited modeling carried out by the EU’s disease control agency that predicted that shortening the length of time for booster doses to be administered could reduce mortality linked to the Omicron variant by 15 percent.
The recommendation follows an opinion from the country’s drug regulator, the National Agency for drug safety (ANSM), which also supported an acceleration of a booster dose rollout, with the caveat that more data still needed to be collected.