“There is no reason to worry”slice Emmanuel Piednoir, head of the infectiology department of CH Avranches-Granville, about the extension of the time between the two doses of vaccine against monkeypox. Announced by the Ministry of Health on Thursday August 4 in accordance with the opinion of the High Authority for Health, the new measure provides for a period longer than the 28 days recommended until then, except for immunocompromised people.
“We know that this vaccine confers very good long-lasting immunity”, assures the professor. The proof according to him: people vaccinated against smallpox in the late 1970s retain at least partial immunity from this vaccination, which dates back 45 years. Delaying the second dose for a few weeks would therefore pose no risk.
“The clinical studies were done at 28 days, but if they had spaced the two doses by 56 days, we would most likely have had the same results”assures Emmanuel Piednoir. “For the moment, no one has fallen ill ten or fifteen days after the first injection”abounds Adrien Dereix, director of the International Medical Center (CMI) in Paris.
Encourage primary vaccination
This extension had also been decided for the vaccination against Covid-19. «The scientific data showed in the same way that by spacing out the intake of the two doses, there was no loss of vaccine immunity.recalls Emmanuel Piednoir. And that made it possible to open up primary vaccination to a greater number of people. »
An objective that remains relevant for monkeypox: “Injecting a first dose as quickly as possible will prevent further circulation of the disease”, confirms Adrien Dereix. At CMI, he currently offers 400 vaccinations per week and would like to do more. Reducing the number of second doses will already enable it to offer more primary vaccination.
The need to communicate
Convinced of the merits of this measure, the doctors emphasize on the other hand the need to communicate with the population. “We explain to people who receive a first dose that they do not have to worry and can have the second later, when there are more doses and more vaccination centers. But you also have to communicate globally, otherwise you risk finding yourself in complicated situations. »
The ministry pointed out that “Already scheduled second dose appointments should not be cancelled” and “patients whose second dose would be assessed as a priority by a doctor for health, treatment or exposure reasons, will benefit from an appointment”.
Adrien Dereix, however, describes a tense situation in his vaccination center on 10e district of Paris: “Even if we don’t know the exact quantities in reserve, we certainly have a dose problem. But it is above all the lack of personnel that weighs. We are in the summer period when there is already a lack of doctors everywhere, so it is difficult to detach them to carry out vaccinations. »