Two parliamentary sources revealed to Reuters on Thursday that France will soon impose COVID-19 booster shots for all adults, along with stricter rules on wearing face masks and health pass checks due to a new wave of infections. Health Minister Olivier Veran will share details on a press conference to be held at midday on Thursday.
France's Haute Autorite de Sante (HAS) health regulator said it was shortening the period between full vaccination and the booster shots from six months to five. France has seen a significant rise in new cases with over 30,000 new infections reported on Wednesday for the second day in a row, a rate unseen since end-April.
In addition, the number of cases resulting in intensive care has reached nearly 1,500, a number not witnessed since the end of September. Booster shots could offer additional protection that may help curb these numbers.
So far, booster shots have been primarily reserved for high-risk populations despite Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla saying in April of 2021 that people will "likely" need the 3rd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine within six to 12 months of vaccination.
In August of 2021, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized booster doses for the immunocompromised in a move aimed at offering additional protection to individuals whose immune systems are weakened and may not have produced enough antibodies after the two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In October 2021, a panel of advisers to the FDA voted unanimously to suggest the rollout of Moderna's COVID-19 booster shots for citizens who are 65 years or older, in addition to people with a high risk of serious illness or occupational proximity to the virus.
France added that the booster shot will be a key requirement for the country's health pass required to enter all public venues.