One dose of vaccine instead of two. The High Authority of Health (HAS) recommends this February 12 to “only offer one dose“from covid-19 vaccine to people”having already had an infection“by the coronavirus. France thus becomes the first country to make such a recommendation.

A reminder role

But where does this recommendation come from? People cured of covid-19 “have already developed an immune memory during infection. The single dose of vaccine will thus play a reminder role“, explains HAS in its opinion.

From a timing point of view, the authority recommends waiting “beyond three months“after illness,”and preferably six months“, before injecting this single dose.

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Dose savings

This recommendation is mainly based on a study posted on the pre-publication site medRxiv February 1. She says that a single dose of vaccine elicits a very rapid immune response in people who have been infected in the past.

In addition to the health benefits, making only one injection to people already ill in the past could save doses in a context of constrained supply.

Wait for government approval

It now remains to await the decision of the French government, which must give its approval or not to the recommendation of the HAS. The government generally follows the advice of the Haute Autorité de santé.

At the end of January, however, he felt that the time between the two doses of Pfizer vaccine could not be increased, contrary to the recommendation issued a few days earlier by the HAS. Nothing is yet decided for the application of this new opinion.

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More than 3 million people affected

As of February 11, 2,135,333 people had received at least one dose of vaccine in France, including 535,775 people with two doses. And since the start of the covid-19 pandemic, 3.4 million cases confirmed by a screening test have been recorded in France. More people have likely contracted the virus, especially during the first wave, when testing was not widely available.

So many people who could therefore see their vaccination protocol simplified. Because the three anti-covi vaccines currently authorized in the European Union (Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca / Oxford) are administered in two doses. That of Johnson & Johnson, under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), however, requires a single injection.