France is “far from satisfactory immunity”, warns the president of the Covid-19 vaccine Committee

France is “far from satisfactory immunity”, warns the president of the Covid-19 vaccine Committee
France is “far from satisfactory immunity”, warns the president of the Covid-19 vaccine Committee

Renowned virologist, returned to Inserm after seventeen years at the World Health Organization, Marie-Paule Kieny has been at the head of the Covid-19 vaccine committee since the summer of 2020.

Its mission: to scrutinize day after day, with the experts who accompany it, the work of serum candidates on a global scale in order to then inform the choices of the executive. Useful and precious, of course, at the time of decipher the major issues of this early summer.

1. The Delta, a real “cause for concern”

The inescapable advance of the variant initially baptized “Indian”, clearly more contagious, plunges the country back into a haze of uncertainty.

“This is indeed a cause for concern”, recognizes Marie-Paule Kieny, especially as France remains “far from a satisfactory population immunity” which would protect “at least 80%” of the inhabitants, following vaccination. or a previous infection.

In these conditions, “More contaminations will lead mathematically to more serious forms and more deaths”. It is therefore “imperative not to relax the barrier gestures”, insists the specialist, while beating the reminder of those reluctant to injections: the sera administered in France present, she said, “a significant effectiveness” against the mutant Delta, although “A little reduced” compared to that observed against its predecessor Alpha (or British), until then dominant.

Marie-Paule Kieny.

2. When will the first reminders be?

According to the latest data, the complete vaccination schedule (two injections, except for Janssen, single dose) would offer ” at least nine months to one year of protection in the general population, ”says Marie-Paule Kieny.

The threshold is lower for very old people or people suffering from serious pathologies, exposed to “a more rapid drop in their immunity”. These will therefore certainly be offered a third dose in the fall.

3. Sanofi to the aid of refractories?

Sanofi announced Monday that its first vaccine, developed with Britain’s GSK, would finally be available in december. Phase 3 of the trials has just started with 35,000 volunteers. Rather than messenger RNA, the French laboratory has opted for the more traditional technology of recombinant protein, already used against hepatitis B, influenza or papillomavirus.

Variant Delta, new cases, incidence rate: what are these “signals” that make fear a fourth wave of Covid-19?

In addition to its possible usefulness in the future recall campaign, the (late) product from Sanofi could also, hopes the virologist, “To convince those who prefer a more traditional technology”.

The outlook, however, seems less favorable for the Russian vaccine Sputnik V. An application for marketing authorization in Europe has been under consideration since early March. But “the registration procedure will take a few more months, and its outcome is not guaranteed,” warns Dr. Kieny. A caution that sounds like the beginning of a funeral.

Stephane Barnoin

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