Covid: Are the French giving Moderna vaccine the cold shoulder?

Published by Laurent P. · Published on 6 April 2021 at 14h53 · Updated on 6 April 2021 at 18h04
As the Covid vaccination campaign is growing in France, more and more French seem to be giving Moderna vaccine the cold shoulder yet said to be effective and statistically safer than other rivals’ products. For what reason? Keep reading to find out more.

Are the French giving Moderna Therapeutics Covid vaccine the cold shoulder? This is unfortunately what noticed Stade de France vaccination hub managers, saying that for this week, out of the 6,700 slots made, almost all appointments were for the Pfizer vaccine, as for Moderna’s, over a hundred slots are still available.

Distrust more and more noticed in centers: “In our vaccination center set in Avicenne hospital, reluctance to Moderna vaccine is noticed”, Bobigny Avicenne hospital head of paramedic emergency unit Frédéric Adnet explained this Monday April 5 on BFMTV. Yet, Moderna vaccine – also using the Messenger RNA technology – is over 90% effective and is said – according to the ANSM – to be statistically safer than others involving likely adverse effects.

Why such mistrust? A question that has not really found answers… According to Saint-Denis first deputy mayor Katy Bontinck, “without being able to explain so, Moderna clearly experiences a lack of popularity”, she told Le Parisien. She suggests: “Perhaps it has been less used in France so far, and therefore is less known?”. An opinion shared this Tuesday April 6 by BFMTV health consultant Alain Ducardonnet: “There is not negative element except the fact it is small, there are 17 million doses of Pfizer, and 2 million of Moderna. Repartition makes it is not known”, he details.

Adnet yet explains this mistrust on BFMTV as being linked to another vaccine also as unpopular: AstraZeneca. The head of unit explains: “It is because it is less known – between Pfizer and AstraZeneca – and Astra rhymes with Moderna, and people mistake Astra and Moderna”. He goes on: “We may well explain it, we tell them Moderna is the same thing as Pfizer, it is a Messenger RNA, it is the same principle, the RNAs are a bit different, but as far as side effects and effectiveness are involved, it is the same thing”. He concludes: “We shall need a national information campaign because Moderna has been forgotten in the fight between Pfizer and AstraZeneca”.

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