People in France aged over 65 with existing health problems will be allowed to be given the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, after the French Government reversed its policy.
When the AstraZeneca vaccine was approved for use by European Union regulators, the French Government said it should only be given to eligible people under 65 because data from trials in older age groups was limited.
The AstraZeneca vaccine will now be offered to people up to the age of 74. However, the shot has been hit by a slow rollout and a lack of trust.
French Health Minister Olivier Veran said Monday: "Anybody aged 50 or over who is affected by co-morbidities can get the AstraZeneca vaccine, including those between 65 and 74."
The announcement has the potential to affect more than two million people.
British health authorities released new data on Monday that showed the AstraZeneca vaccine reduced hospitalization from COVID-19 by more than 80%.
The vaccine is widely used in the UK but has missed delivery targets in the EU.
People aged 75 and over would continue to get the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines only, Veran said.
Meanwhile, Germany still hasn’t cleared the AstraZeneca vaccine for over 65s. This has led to fewer people stepping up for the shot and several doses being wasted.
Image courtesy of Marco Verch on Flickr, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)