AstraZeneca vaccine must remain limited to people aged 55+ by the Haute Autorité de Santé says

Published by Elodie D. · Published on 13 May 2021 at 10h20 · Updated on 13 May 2021 at 11h33
The Haute Autorité de Santé "maintains the limit of 55 years of age for Vaxzevria", aka AstraZeneca's vaccine, because of the benefit/risk ratio related to rare cases of thrombosis. This notice follows the government's demand as they wish to extend its access to all volunteering French as it is already happening in Germany.

Remember, this past March, AstraZeneca vaccine was on the cover of all newspapers following deaths that occured after vaccination caused by thromboses. A "side effect" serious enough for governments from many countries had to halt its diffusion and start investigating.

In France, the Haute Autorité de Santé assessed March's data and changed the vaccine access conditions and only recommends its used in people aged 55+, mentioning "increased risk in people under 55 years of age". Two months have passed and although the vaccination campaign is hitting a milestone with the vaccination slots open to all French - subject to vaccines available the very same day or the day after - it could go quicker as there are only 40% left of the AstraZeneca stock to use, as the vaccine is only approved for French over 55 years of age.

Over 3 million doses have not been used, doses that are still in fridges waiting for a patient. Letting the French make their own decisions? The government is not sure, but Germany did it. The President of the Committee Orienting the Vaccinal Strategy, Alain Fischer is "rather" against, and the HAS has just released a notice. This Wednesday May 12, 2021, they re-affirmed their stand as for the benefit/risk ratio per person and results show that "it is from 50-55 years of age that atypical risks of thrombosis sharply decrease while benefits associated to the vaccinal protection start to significantly increase". The HAS adds that using AstraZeneca's Vaxzevria vaccine "remains vital in the current context in France".

The government is to make a decision soon.

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