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Postponement of second dose of monkeypox vaccine sparks controversy

Dose availability or organization problem? The decision of the Ministry of Health, Thursday, August 4, to extend the spacing between the first and second doses of vaccine against monkeypox raises questions among some experts and in the associative world.

If the appointments already made should not be canceled, according to the ministry, how will this happen for those who do not have sesame? Since the start of vaccination at the end of May, the time between two doses has been twenty-eight days. From now on, second dose appointments “may be scheduled later in the progress of the vaccination campaign”. No details, therefore, on the maximum time allowed by the authorities to obtain complete protection against the disease.

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However, an exception is provided. “Patients whose second dose would be considered a priority by a physician for health, treatment or exposure reasons will obviously benefit from the appointments”specifies the ministry, in particular immunocompromised people, for whom a third dose is already proposed.

“Limited supply of doses” in the UK

The associations quickly stepped up to denounce a completely different reality on the ground. “Many people have had their appointments for their second dose canceled without any explanation., alerted the Aides association on Thursday. This is not acceptable and appointments should be honored. » Aides also insists that “People whose life course or practices keep them away from the health system must also have a systematic appointment for the second dose”citing sex workers, as well as people in great precariousness.

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Why such a choice of the authorities? The objective is clearly to vaccinate with at least one dose as many people as possible in the eligible population, i.e. men who have sex with men (MSM) and trans people with multiple sexual partners. , sex workers and health professionals.

This approach is already practiced in the UK “due to the limited supply of doses”, explains the British health security agency. A situation envisaged from July 7 by the High Authority for Health (HAS), which wrote in its opinion: “In the event of a vaccine supply tension, the HAS (…) considers that the administration of the second dose can be postponed for several weeks if necessary. »

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