The AstraZeneca vaccine will have barely survived five months in France. Blame it on a bad image of this Swedish-British vaccine, less effective (60 to 70% effectiveness, against 94% for Pfizer and Moderna, and 66% for Janssen) and side effects (0.31% of injections, or 22,070 cases, the vast majority of which were intense influenza-like illnesses, which received high media coverage. “No more dose is now sent to the storage and vaccination centers,” the Ministries of Health and the Economy confirm to Telegram. All deliveries are now directed to the poorest countries on the planet, via the Covax international solidarity program (WHO, Unicef, etc.).
The equivalent of 64 million euros
Of the 300 million doses ordered by the European Union, 44 million have been planned for France. By mid-July, 16 million had been delivered, and 7.5 million injected. Just over five million have already been redirected to the Covax program since last April. There remains a hole of nearly three million doses. Lost? No answer has been given to us on this subject.
As for the 28 million doses still to be delivered to France, including 5.5 million between July 18 and the end of August), all will be intended for Covax. In the end, only nearly 8 million doses will have been used in France, or just under one in five (18%). This poor image of the AstraZeneca vaccine, to which the manufacturer and the authorities have themselves contributed (delivery delays, contradictory speeches linked to rare cases of thrombosis), should therefore cost the French State, at € 1.78 per dose (compared to € 14.68 per Moderna unit), € 64 million.
Very uneven distribution of doses around the world
These doses will benefit 92 poor countries on the planet and their 3.9 billion inhabitants, via the Covax program. “We are going to diversify these donations,” said the French Ministry of the Economy on Tuesday. We hope to be able to give Pfizer and Janssen vaccines before the end of the summer. And there is urgency. Of the 1.8 billion doses that Covax had committed to deliver by the end of the year, only… 91 million were delivered. The main reason: the failure of its main supplier, the Serum Institute of India, faced with a violent epidemic on its own soil, since last spring.
While more than three billion doses of vaccines have been injected in the world, the vast majority have been in “rich” countries (79 doses per 100 inhabitants), unlike poor countries (one dose per 100 inhabitants). inhabitants). France is also helping Tunisia, which has been hit hard by the epidemic. Between last Sunday and by Thursday, the French authorities will have shipped 1.1 million doses of vaccines (including 500,000 Janssen) to this country of 12 million inhabitants.
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