August 1, 2021

to speed up the vaccination campaign, the HAS offers a test to find out who needs only a single dose

At a time when vaccination against Covid-19 is opening up to all French people over 12 years of age, and therefore to a population that has more commonly developed asymptomatic forms of the disease, the question arises of the relevance of a scheme two-dose vaccine.

Indeed, people who have already contracted Covid-19 in the past need a single dose of vaccine to be considered fully protected, regardless of the age of their infection. The High Authority for Health (HAS) reaffirmed this position in an opinion published on Thursday, June 3.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Covid-19: vaccinate 12-18 year olds, to protect adolescents … but especially their parents and grandparents

But then what to do when you have contracted an asymptomatic form of the disease and you do not know if you have already had Covid-19? Until then, these people received two doses, as planned in the classic vaccination schedule. From now on, the HAS makes it possible but not obligatory to carry out rapid serological tests – the TRODs for “Rapid diagnostic orientation tests” – at the time of the first injection of the vaccine, which allows you to know if you have already encountered the virus. To perform this test, just collect a drop of blood and apply it to a cassette. After fifteen minutes, the test will tell you if you have developed any antibodies. “This allows you to give or not the second appointment for the second dose”, explained Monday on RMC Dominique Le Guludec, the president of the HAS.

This recommendation may come as a surprise, if we remember that the independent authority considered in its opinion of 11 February that “The realization of a prevaccinal serology n ‘[était] not relevant and therefore not recommended ”. Doubt then persisted as to the immunity conferred by the disease several months after infection. But since then, three Italian studies have shown that “The levels of antibodies obtained after a single dose of vaccine in people already infected with Covid-19 were found to be higher than those of people not previously infected and having benefited from a two-dose vaccination schedule”, can we read in the new opinion.

Simplification for the youngest

More specifically, the expected benefit of this recommendation is twofold: “On an individual basis, to receive only one injection for immunocompetent persons; collectively, to better protect the population by vaccinating several million additional people more quickly in the niches and with the doses thus released ”. The objective is thus to advance more quickly in the vaccination coverage of the French population in order to “Protect against a possible epidemic resurgence”. In addition, this recommendation, which comes on the eve of the summer holidays, aims to simplify the vaccination of the youngest, in whom the virus had circulated the most in the summer of 2020, preparing the second wave of the fall.

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