Fred Scheiber/AFP/Getty Images/FILE
Syringes used to administer the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, at the office of a general practitioner in Gragnague, France, on February 26.
France has extended the upper age limit for use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, now approving use of the vaccine in 65 to 75 year olds with serious health conditions, the country’s health minister announced Monday.
The decision comes after a previous warning from the government that AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine should only be administered in people under the age of 65, citing a lack of clinical data on its efficacy for older people.
“I can confirm that, from now on, anyone who is 50 years of age and over and who has medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension or a history of cancer can be vaccinated with AstraZeneca,” French Health Minister Olivier Veran said during a televised interview, adding that “for people who are 75 years old and over, it is always the Pfizer or Moderna” vaccine that is administered.
Speaking to France 2 TV, the health minister said the French National health authority now considers all vaccines available in France, including the AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, to “have an effectiveness qualified as ‘remarkable’ in protecting people from the risks of serious forms of coronavirus.”
While coronavirus restrictions are still in place across the country, Veran also suggested that the government would consider easing measures over the coming weeks.
“We obviously hope that in four to six weeks, we can have more freedom,” Veran said.
“We did this last year. Spring is less conducive to the circulation of the virus. We vaccinate, we protect the most vulnerable, we keep our fingers crossed,” he added.