France eases ban on AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine for over-65s

03 Mars, 2021, 08:57 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • La Baule

As of yesterday, more than 20 million people in the United Kingdom have had at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine, with almost 800,000 having two doses.

The United States government authorised Johnson & Johnson's single-dose Covid vaccine on Feb 28.

Another 1.9 million doses are expected before the end of June through the global vaccine sharing program known as COVAX, with the first 500,000 of those potentially arriving before the end of March.

"It's a good option", said Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada's chief medical adviser. Regulators in the USA gave it the green light over the weekend.

Health Canada also recognized this in its decision to approve of AstraZeneca's vaccine.

Canada received 168,000 doses of Moderna's vaccine last week, but the company only delivers every three weeks.

In a recent analysis in England, that study showed a single shot of either Oxford-AstraZeneca or the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine reduces the chance of needing hospital treatment by more than 80 percent.

As for herself, Brum said she has allergies that she believes may put her at greater risk of adverse reactions and so she is unsure whether she can take any vaccine.

Head of the MG France doctors' union Jacques Battistoni and vaccination coordinator Alain Fischer slammed attempts to denigrate the quality and efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine, calling reports of its inefficacy "deeply unfair".

The second dose is being administered after four weeks but the uptake of the second dose of vaccine has been slow amongst healthcare workers mostly because many want to delay it beyond eight weeks, as advised by the WHO.

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The committee, which makes recommendations to governments on the use of newly approved vaccines for humans, said in documents posted Monday it does not recommend the vaccine for those 65 and older "due to limited information on [its] efficacy" in that age group.

Still, "emerging real world evidence and post-market experience" shows the vaccine has "a potential benefit" and "no safety concerns" in people over 65-years-old.

Canada's vaccine program is ramping up after the lengthy slowdown in deliveries.

From this week, the NHS has started to deliver second doses to those people vaccinated first, which will provide higher and longer lasting protection.

Vaccination is a powerful tool to break the transmission of COVID-19 and while it is early days yet, the initial indications from Kerala also point towards the fact that new infections are on the way down amongst the vaccinated group. The age threshold has been lowered to 80 for seniors in the Montreal area.

A spokesperson for Health Minister Christine Elliott told CTV News Toronto the details of the vaccine roll out strategy are still being finalized, and the province is awaiting further guidance on the best use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Both Pfizer and Moderna are shipped frozen, with the former requiring ultracold storage in special freezers, and both must be used entirely after a vial is opened.

General practitioners and pharmacies have put their hand up to be involved, and there's expected to be pop-up clinics at current COVID-19 testing centres and hospitals.

AstraZeneca is a viral vector vaccine, which takes a cold virus, modifies it so it can't reproduce itself, and adds the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

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