Macron ‘made a mistake’ on AstraZeneca vaccine says Genetet
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Emmanuel Macron had branded the AstraZeneca vaccine “quasi-ineffective” in over-65s but the French Government was forced into a drastic u-turn after new clinical data was made available that proved its efficacy in older age groups. Mr Macron’s unsubstantiated attack on the Oxford-produced shot has been blamed for a significant slow down in France’s rollout of jabs. His En Marche colleague Ms Genetet has since admitted to Channel 4 that the French leader made “a mistake.”
The French MP told Channel 4 News: “I really guess here that he made a mistake.
“I know he reads every data, every study, scientific study but this time maybe there was something.
“It was a misstep. He said something that was not true.
“But now we know we have the data saying that yes we can have very good efficiency with the Astrazeneca over 65 years of age.”
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French Health minister Olivier Veran pointed to a new expert analysis as he announced the abrupt shift in tone last week.
He said: “The Haute Autorite de Sante now considers as of today that all three vaccines that we have in France have a remarkable efficacy to protect people against the risk of severe forms of COVID-19.
“As a result, I can announce that from now on people aged 50 and above who have comorbidities such as diabetes, high blood pressure or a history of cancer can be vaccinated with AstraZeneca, including those aged 65 to 74.”
French regulators previously recommended that the Anglo-Swedish firm’s jab be given to people aged 50 to 64 with pre-existing medical conditions.
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Germany, Italy, Spain and Belgium have all reported difficulties in convincing people to accept the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
Each country’s health authorities have recommended tight age restrictions on the AstraZeneca jab.
In contrast, the EU’s European Medicines Agency has approved the shot for use in all individuals aged 18 and over.
Britain has used doses of the Oxford jab as a key pillar of its highly successful vaccine rollout.
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More than 20 million first jabs have been given – compared with the far slower mass vaccination programme in mainland Europe.
England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer has taken aim at EU efforts to discredit the AstraZeneca jab.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said new studies had “vindicated” Britain’s one-dose strategy.
He said that “non-adoption” by “many countries” for over-65s was not scientifically backed up.
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