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France approves Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine for people over 65


Kendy

France approves Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine for people over 65

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Paris – The French government says older people with pre-existing conditions can now get Oxford-AstraZeneca’s coronavirus (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 minister of health 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 United Kingdom, but several European Union (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 rollout policy.

Speaking on France 2 television late on Monday, 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.

In January French President Emmanuel Macron said the Oxford-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, French health officials have tried to convince people that it is just as safe and effective as other COVID-19 vaccines, AFP news agency reports.

Just 273 000 AstraZeneca doses have been administered in France out of 1.7m received by the end of February, health ministry figures show. (BBC)