France approves AstraZeneca vaccine for over-65s

France approves AstraZeneca vaccine for over-65s
Source: EPA
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: The government of Franch says older people with pre-existing conditions can now get the AstraZeneca vaccine, revising its stance on the issue.

French health minister Olivier Véran said: “People affected by co-morbidities can be vaccinated with AstraZeneca, including those aged between 65 and 74.

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

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

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

The EU drugs regulator has approved the vaccine for all adults, but it is up to each member to set its own rollout policy.

Speaking on France 2 television late on Monday, French Health Minister said people with pre-existing conditions could get the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from GP surgeries, hospitals and “within days” from pharmacies.

He said that those aged over 75 will still be offered either Pfizer or Moderna jabs in a vaccination centre.

French President Emmanuel Macron said in January that the AstraZeneca vaccine was “quasi-ineffective” for older age groups – a claim strongly rejected at the time by the UK officials and scientists.

But as more data has emerged, health officials of France have tried to convince people that it is just as safe and effective as other Covid-19 vaccine, AFP news agency reports.

Health ministry figures show that just 273,000 AstraZeneca doses have been administered in France out of 1.7 million received by the end of February.

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