France to launch new campaign with Omicron-adapted Covid vaccines

Paris: France will launch a new inoculation campaign with Omicron-adapted bivalent Covid-19 vaccines next week amid a resurgence of fresh cases, Health Minister Francois Braun announced here.

Speaking to the local media on Tuesday, the Minister said the resurgence has been reported across the country over the past three weeks, reports Xinhua news agency.

Braun said a new booster dose will protect the at-risk groups from developing severe symptoms, including the vulnerable, those aged over 60 and health workers.

He said the general public are welcome to be vaccinated, too, if they wish.

The Omicron-adapted vaccines, approved by the French National Authority (HAS) on September 20, will be available at pharmacies and inoculation centres starting from October 3, he said.

Though wearing a mask is no more mandatory in France, Braun called on the citizens to be more sensible by putting it at crowded places.

The French Public Health Agency has warned that “the circulation of SARS-CoV-2 has accelerated throughout the metropolitan territory with virological indicators rising sharply”.

The three Omicron-adapted vaccines approved by the HAS include those of Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech targetting the Omicron variant BA.1, and that of Pfizer/BioNTech adapted for the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020, France, one of the worst-hit countries, has reported a total of 35,238,174 Covid-19 cases and 155,000 deaths.

–IANS

 

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