French Prime Minister receives AstraZeneca Covid vaccine as country restarts jabs for more than 55 years

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French Prime Minister receives AstraZeneca Covid vaccine as country restarts jabs for more than 55 years


French Prime Minister Jean Castex received the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on Friday at a hospital near Paris, during an event broadcast live on French television as part of efforts to restore public confidence in the vaccine.
Mr Castex, 55, received the controversial blow on the same day that France’s medical regulator, the Haute Autorité de Santé, decided the blow could resume after a days-long suspension, but said it should not be administered only to persons 55 years of age and over.

The French health authority on Friday recommended that only people aged 55 and over should receive the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine due to reports of blood clots, while the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said the vaccine was “safe and effective”.

Countries in Europe canceled their vaccination rollout amid blood clot fears earlier this week, but the EMA on Thursday paved the way for the European Union to restart its hesitant coronavirus vaccination rollout.

“This is a safe and effective vaccine. Its benefits for protecting people from Covid-19, along with the associated risks of death and hospitalization, outweigh the possible risks, ”said Emer Cooke, EMA Executive Director.

France said its recommendation was based on the fact that reports of blood clots that led to its suspension in France and other European countries have only been seen in those under 55.

Dominique Le Guludec, head of the French health regulator of the HAS, said that such cases in those who had received the vaccine were “very rare” but also “serious”.

She said that while awaiting further information, those under 55 should be vaccinated with the other three approved in France: from Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.



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