Good news in Covid vaccine campaign... As this Friday January 29, the European Medicines Agency announced the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca in partnership with Oxford University, is to be issued; and now, the Haute Autorité de Santé in France approves it as well, enabling it to enter the French market. The only flaw: the HAS does not recommend it to people over the age of 65.
A vaccine expected to make it to France very soon, starting later this week or early next week (Feb. 8) - according to Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune. "We'll speed shipping up. Starting from the end of the week or the beginning of next week at the latest, we'll get AstraZeneca vaccine doses starting to arrive in France. We'll start vaccinating as planned, by the end of the week with AstraZeneca doses" he explained this Monday February 1 to France Inter.
Approval that took time to come... And for good reason, the pharmaceutical group sought approval for marketing authorization as soon as possible in the European Union on January 12 only, which is far later than other countries such as the United-Kingdom, for instance.
Yet, its use is only recommended in people over 18 years old: "EMA has recommended granting a conditional marketing authorization for Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca [...] in people from 18 years of age" a release reads.
Yet, on December 29, 2020, the EMA Deputy Executive Director Noël Wathion announced the Swedish-British group will probably not be allowed to issue their vaccine in January 2021 within the European Union, unlike what was first announced.
“They haven’t even applied yet” he says – surprised – to our Belgian peers from Het Nieuwsblad. Another issue that will delay the vaccine, the little information already shared on this product with the European health authorities: “Not even enough to prove subcondition marketing license” Wathion says. He goes on: “We need additional data on the vaccine quality. And then, the company can seek formal approval”.
As many conditions that cannot enable approval from the European Medicines Agency for January 2021. Anyway, this approval is good news for countries mass vaccinating and should make health workforce's lives easier. And for good reason, to be stored between 2 and 8 degrees, its transport and conservation are much easier and its spread should accelerate vaccine campaigns. Given doses to be delivered in time.