AstraZeneca vaccine examined very closely… The World Health Organization (WHO) announced this Monday February 8 they were examining the product developed by Swedish-British laboratory and Oxford university, as it was at the heart of many debates because of its relative effectiveness on people over 65 years of age, and on the South-African variant that keeps on gaining ground all around the world.
Therefore, WHO’s strategic committee has gathered this Monday for a videoconference in order to deliver guidelines on whether the vaccine should be used or not in some categories of the population, especially among the over-65s, the organization explains. Recommendations have been issued this Tuesday February 9: “it is vastly too early to be dismissing this vaccine” Richard Hatchett, head of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) said, as for the vaccine distribution to poor countries all around the world. He went on and said the vaccine was “This is a very important part of the global response to the current pandemic. […] it's absolutely crucial to use the tools that we have as effectively as we possibly can” he added.
This Wednesday February 10, a new statement has been handed over: WHO's committee of experts on vaccine has announced the vaccine created by AstraZeneca could be used in people over the age of 65, and reommends it "even in the countries that have the circulation of the variants". As for international travelers, the World Health Organization also said they are still against compulsory vaccination.
Anyway, some countries have already made arrangements as for the vaccine distribution. For instance, Germany, whose national control has not approved its use in people over the age of 65. Why? An obvious lack of data on the effect of the product on this specific category of the population.
France took its time. And for good reason. This Monday March 1, Olivier Véran announced on France 2 the country approves vaccination with AstraZeneca in people between 65 and 74 years of age, namely almost a month following WHO's latest recommendations. "Anyone of 50 years of age and more and suffering from comorbidities can get vaccinated with AstraZeneca, including people between 65 and 74 years of age, by their GP, at the hospital following them up, and soon in pharmacies", he explained.
Yet, the vaccine arrives on time to vaccinate healthcare workers who now are able to get the vaccine inoculated, however old they are. As for AstraZeneca, they told AFP their vaccine will “continue to ease the toll on health care systems by preventing severe disease”, even in people over 65 years of age.