The health info of the day: the AstraZeneca vaccine not recommended for over 65s

Can the British AstraZeneca vaccine against Cocid-19 be administered in France, and to which public? The Haute Autorité de Santé gave its recommendations for France on Tuesday 2 February afternoon.

This opinion will he accelerate the vaccination campaign in France, to say the least chaotic since its launch?

AstraZeneca: the vaccine is not recommended for people over 65

The High Authority of Health has officially given the green light in an opinion made public Tuesday, February 2 for the vaccine developed by the Anglo-Swedish laboratory AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, five days after it received approval from European authorities. So far, only Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are used to vaccinate the French.

Who is this new vaccine recommended for? Like its European neighbors such as Germany, Austria and Sweden, which have issued more or less severe restrictions, the Haute Autorité de Santé recommends do not use it to vaccinate people over 65, because ” Data missing for people over 65 In phase 3 trials, she explains. The AZ vaccine is therefore recommended preferentially to professionals in the health or medico-social sector under 65 and to people under 65, starting with people aged 50 to 64 and who present with comorbidities.

A 9 to 12 week interval between the two doses

Advantage of this vaccine and not the least: it does not need to be stored at a very low temperature, which facilitates logistics since it does not require the use of “super freezers” maintaining at -80 ° the other vaccines. Regarding the effectiveness of the vaccine to fight Covid-19, on the other hand, the rates of 60% and 70% are mentioned, against nearly 90% for Pfizer and Moderna.

In addition, the price of a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is € 1.78, compared to € 12 for the Pfizer vaccine and € 14.70 for the Moderna vaccine.

It should also be noted that the AstraZeneca vaccine can be administered in France not only by doctors and nurses, but also by pharmacists and midwives the Haute Autorité de Santé specified in its opinion.

Another precision of the High Authority of Health: a second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine must absolutely be administered, within 9 to 12 weeks after the first dose. ” The available efficacy and immunogenicity data indeed show the positive impact of the lengthening of the duration between doses and the persistence up to 12 weeks of the protection conferred by the first dose. »She emphasizes.

Vaccination will start in mid-February

Will the government follow this opinion issued by the Haute Autorité de Santé? Will this new vaccine be a game-changer for the vaccination campaign in France and above all, from when can it be administered? Clément Beaune, Secretary of State for European Affairs, said Monday February 1 on France Inter: ” We’re going to speed up deliveries. From the end of the week or the beginning of next week at the latest, we will have doses of AstraZeneca vaccines which will begin to arrive in France. “. 2.5 million doses would finally be expected in February in France according to our colleagues from Point.

The government “Mister vaccine” Alain Fischer, responsible for advising the government in its vaccine strategy against Covid-19, for his part assured Tuesday February 2 on France 2 that the first vaccinations will take place “ around mid-February “.

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