Babies against bronchiolitis, vulnerable people against Covid-19 and the flu, adolescents against papillomaviruses: autumn will be marked by several immunization or vaccination campaigns.
Faced with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the main cause of bronchiolitis, preventive treatment (which is not a vaccine) will be available for infants from mid-September.
200,000 doses have been ordered. With the injection of a monoclonal antibody (Beyfortus, developed by Sanofi and AstraZeneca), the objective is to provide babies with means of immune defense for their first season of exposure to RSV.
For infants born from September 15, the single injection will be offered before leaving the maternity ward. Parents of children born since February will also be able to have the treatment prescribed, collect it from a pharmacy and have it injected by a doctor, nurse or midwife.
In France, bronchiolitis affects nearly 30% of infants under two years old each winter, or around 480,000 cases per year. And 2 to 3% of infants under one year old are hospitalized for severe bronchiolitis.
The seasonal RSV epidemic reached a record level in more than a decade last winter with 35,000 babies hospitalized, including 2,500 in critical care. With this treatment, the hope of the health authorities is also to reduce, in turn, the load on hospitals still in crisis.
» READ ALSO - Bronchiolitis: how to know if your baby needs to be hospitalized
The widespread vaccination of students in 5th grade against the papillomavirus, promised at the start of the year by President Emmanuel Macron, will begin this fall after obtaining parental consent.
The start of this vaccination, fully covered by Social Security, is scheduled for October 2 in the most advanced regions, such as New Aquitaine, in public colleges and private colleges under voluntary contracts.
Students with parental authorization will receive the first dose this fall/winter, the second six months later, in their college and during school time. The injections will be given by mobile teams of caregivers from outside the establishment. Two vaccines are available: Gardasil 9 (MSD laboratory) and Cervarix (GSK).
Human papillomaviruses (acronym HPV in English) are the cause of nearly 6,500 new cases of cancer (uterus, vagina, penis, throat, etc.) each year in France among women but also men. Vaccination, which prevents up to 90% of HPV infections causing cancer, has been recommended for girls aged 11 to 14 since 2007, and for boys since 2021. But less than half of French adolescents are vaccinated, one of the lowest rates in Europe. The government is targeting 80% vaccination of this age group by 2030.
» READ ALSO - Papillomavirus vaccine: why boys are also affected
The new vaccination campaign against Covid-19 will start on October 2. Initially scheduled for the 17th, its launch was brought forward by the Minister of Health, in view of the resumption of the epidemic. From October 17, the parallel start of the vaccination campaign against seasonal flu remains planned.
These two vaccinations are recommended for those most at risk (65 years and over, pregnant women, people who are immunocompromised or with comorbidities such as chronic illnesses, nursing home residents, etc.) and people who come into contact with them, such as caregivers.
French people outside of these categories who would like an anti-Covid booster will be able to benefit from it free of charge. The time limit to be respected after the last injection or Covid infection remains at least six months. Vaccination can be administered by a doctor, a nurse, a midwife or even in a pharmacy, or even on site in a nursing home.
On the Covid side, “two messenger RNA vaccines developed during the spring by the Pfizer and Moderna laboratories as well as a recombinant particle vaccine, developed by Novavax” will be available, declared the president of the Committee for Monitoring and Anticipation of health risks (Covars) Brigitte Autran a few weeks ago.
In addition to Covid and the flu, older people can also suffer serious effects from the virus responsible for bronchiolitis. The EU gave the green light this summer to a first anti-RSV vaccine intended for seniors, France has not yet decided.