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More than 290 million: this is the potential number of vaccine doses that France could receive by the end of the year. This figure, adopted on February 15 by the Ministry of Health, corresponds to the French quotas in pre-orders centralized by the European Union from six laboratories. All provide for the injection of two doses, except that of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen). This vaccine promises to be one of the rising stars of this type team: inexpensive, a priori effective at all ages, easy to transport, it ticks all the boxes. Winner of the match?

In reality, each product has its advantages and disadvantages… Starting with the speed with which it was made available. The criterion of effectiveness in preventing serious cases might seem to be the only determining factor. But that would be forgetting that the precious vials display different characteristics on key criteria such as conservation, cost or the side effects. To see more clearly, we have compiled the advantages and disadvantages identified at this stage for each vaccine, within the framework of a distribution in France (see our methodology at the end of the article).

This comparison is not absolute. Everything is moving very quickly and the state of knowledge is not the same between a Pfizer distributed since December and a CureVac still in testing. At present, due to lack of sufficient doses, each of the available vaccines plays a role. These differences may need to change. To better understand, find in the list below the vaccine by vaccine detail:


What does the evaluation of these different criteria correspond to?

For each vaccine, characteristics known in mid-February were collated and transcribed into a rating of 1 to 5 for each criterion, with 1 representing low level and 5 representing optimal characteristics. This categorization is based on the results of studies communicated by the laboratories and the first elements gathered for vaccines already authorized. A part can therefore evolve. Beyond the scientific results, the estimated score out of 5 for each criterion also relates to the situation in France and the concrete deployment of vaccination. The efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine on the elderly is therefore very low at this stage since this vaccine is only used on those under 65 years of age. Likewise, its note on side effects takes into account the fact that it should not be injected into the same service in its entirety because of the fever episode it can cause, which is a constraint in the campaign. vaccine.

How to read these graphs?

The six criteria are distributed in a circle. The higher a score on an indicator, the farther away the line is from the center towards that indicator. The advantage of this presentation is to be able to compare at a glance the major advantages and disadvantages of each product because we can see the areas in which they stand out.

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