By Tony Winterburn •
Published: 01 Mar 2021 • 22:04
France Eases Ban On Astrazeneca's Covid-19 Vaccine For Over-65s
France Eases Ban On Astrazeneca’s Covid-19 Vaccine For Over-65s.
FRANCE has announced it has lifted the ban on the AstraZeneca vaccine for the over 65’s. People in France aged over 65 with existing health problems can now be given the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, France’s health minister said on Monday, reversing Paris’s earlier stance that the vaccine should be for under-65s only.
When the AstraZeneca vaccine was approved for use by European Union regulators, France mandated it would only go to eligible people under 65 because data from trials in older age groups was very limited at the time.
French President Emmanuel Macron was quoted as telling journalists the AstraZeneca vaccine was “quasi-effective” for over-65s. That position contrasted with Britain, which was the first to roll out the AstraZeneca vaccine and approved it for use in all age categories.
Since that decision, more data from trials have shown the efficacy of the vaccine, while France has also struggled with a shortage of vaccines from its other suppliers, Pfizer and Moderna.
South Africa had temporarily halted the vaccine’s rollout. This is because a preliminary study suggested that the vaccine provides limited protection against mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 caused by the South African variant of the coronavirus.
This may seem quite alarming. However, the study only involved young people, who tend to be less badly affected by COVID-19, and so it didn’t assess whether the vaccine protects against severe disease caused by the variant.
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