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France's health watchdog on Tuesday recommended a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for people aged over 65 or considered at risk of developing serious forms of the disease.

The advice from the HAS watchdog was for people who had already received two vaccine doses, who will now be offered an mRNA vaccine such as the ones produced by Pfizer or Moderna, which France has ample supply of.

Last month, the French ministry announced a booster shot for around five million of the most , including those in .

In its statement, the HAS suggested widening the criteria for those eligible for a third shot while adding that the "priority for the next few weeks is to increase vaccination coverage in particular in the 80+ age group where remains insufficient (at 79.9 percent)."

France is averaging around 20,000 new COVID-19 cases a day, with the return of schools next week after the summer holidays raising concern about a new surge in infections.

The World Health Organization has called for a moratorium on booster shots until at least the end of September in order to address inequalities in global dose distribution.

Israel became one of the first countries to begin administering booster shots at the end of July after a spike in new cases.