The French government has made a shocking U-turn on the age requirement for taking the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. In revising its stance on the issue, the French Government has said older people with pre-existing medical conditions can now receive the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
French Health Minister, Olivier Veran in explaining the country’s revised stance on the vaccine application model said ‘people affected by co-morbidities can be vaccinated with AstraZeneca, including those aged between 65 and 74.’
The France government, last month, approved the use of the vaccine for under-65s only arguing that there no dependable data on the safety of the vaccine for older people.
Since then, studies carried out on older persons have shown that the jab is equally effective among the elderly.
Several countries in the European Union have still limited the vaccine intake to only persons under the age of sixty-five (65) but it has been widely embraced across the United Kingdom.
However, in Canada, the Immunisation Commission has advised its government against administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to persons over 65 years primarily because clinical trial data for that age group is too limited.
The European Union (EU) drugs regulator has however approved it for all adults but it is up to each member state to set its own roll-out policy.
Speaking on national 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.
Despite strict restrictions imposed on parts of the country, France continues to struggle to contain the viral spread of the Covid-19 disease.
Bars, restaurants, museums, and other public places have all been closed down with the hope of mass public gathering of any form.
According to the Health Minister, Olivier Veran, authorities are considering imposing tougher restrictions in the days ahead.
By: Edwin Abanga