France To Issue AstraZenega Vaccine To Citizens Over 65 years old

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France will start giving Britain’s AstraZeneca vaccine to over-65s in an humiliating U-turn for President Macron after he personally cast doubt on its effectiveness.

Olivier Veran, the French health minister, said yesterday that the jab will soon be made available to people age between 50 and 75 with underlying health issues that make them vulnerable to Covid.

The move is intended as a ‘first step’ towards making the vaccine available to all over-65s when the country’s vaccines agency publishes a new report on the jab, due some time this week. 

The decision will pile pressure on other European countries which defied global health bodies by restricting the jab’s use in older people – including the likes of Germany and Sweden – to reverse their own policies.

It comes after a slew of real-world data showed the AstraZeneca jab reduces hospitalisations in over-65s by more than 80 per cent and it may be slightly more effective than the European Pfizer jab.

The data flies in the face of remarks Macron made last month, when he said the vaccine was ‘quasi-ineffective’ in older people. Europe has mounted one of the world’s slowest vaccine roll-outs, plagued by bureaucratic red tape, supply issues and meddling by regulators that means it is unlikely to see an end to lockdowns any time soon. 



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