The time between the two doses of the monkeypox vaccination has been extended for non-immunocompromised people, the Ministry of Health announced on Thursday August 4, without specifying how long. It was previously 28 days. This decision, taken “in order to guarantee the greatest number of people at risk access to vaccination”was transmitted to vaccination sites.
The High Authority for Health had recommended, in its opinion at the beginning of July, a vaccination schedule “two doses, 28 days apart”while specifying “that a spacing of doses of several weeks could be considered in the event of a tension in the supply of vaccines”. Asked whether the extension of the deadline was linked to such tension, the ministry reaffirmed that there was no “no vaccine supply tension”.
The day before, the Minister of Health, François Braun, repeated that France had “enough to vaccinate the target population (…), namely 250,000 people”. After recalling the destocking of 42,000 doses, he assured that the government is “able to increase vaccinations as needed”. So far, 18,500 people have received a first dose of the vaccine.
In recent days, several testimonies have mentioned cancellations of appointments for the second dose. The department pointed out that these slots “already scheduled must 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”. In contrast, “unscheduled second dose appointments can be scheduled later”.
Two doses of vaccine are recommended for most eligible people, mainly men who have sex with men. One dose is enough for people vaccinated against smallpox in the past. A third is recommended for the immunocompromised. Efficiency “will never be 100%”, warned the ministry, which insists on prevention. On August 2, 2,239 cases had been confirmed in France. Unlike other countries like Spain, there are no deaths to report.