Mar 02, 2021

France reverses stance on AstraZeneca vaccine

The French government says older people with pre-existing conditions can now get AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine, revising its stance on the issue.

"People affected by co-morbidities can be vaccinated with AstraZeneca, including those aged between 65 and 74," the health minister said.

Last month France approved use of the vaccine for under-65s only, citing lack of data for older people.

Since then studies have shown the jab is highly effective among the elderly.

How effective is the Oxford vaccine?

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is widely used across the UK, but several EU countries are still limiting it to the under-65s, including Germany.

The EU drugs regulator has approved it for all adults, but it is up to each member to set its own roll-out policy.

In a further development, Canada's immunisation commission on Monday advised against giving the AstraZeneca vaccine to over-65s, saying clinical trial data for that age group was too limited.

Speaking on television, French Health Minister Olivier Véran said people with pre-existing conditions could get the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from GP surgeries, hospitals and "within days" from pharmacies.

Those aged over 75 will still be offered either Pfizer or Moderna jabs in a vaccination centre, he added.

(BBC News)

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