The Swedish-British product, which has accumulated health controversies, is given priority by certain Western countries, such as France, Switzerland and Italy, to the international solidarity program for access to vaccines.
The AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19 now represents the bulk of the doses provided by France, Switzerland and Italy to the Covax international solidarity device for countries lacking vaccines. Thereby, The world reports that all the doses of AstraZeneca received by France as part of the agreement between the Swedish-British laboratory and the European Union are now redirected to the Covax device, without even passing through France.
This international funding mechanism, founded in particular by the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organization, is supposed to allow 92 underprivileged states and territories to receive free vaccines funded by more prosperous nations. The French state has contributed up to 12 million doses to date: for “almost all”, it is AstraZeneca therefore, and the American Janssen vaccine for the rest.
France is also expected to send doses of the Pfizer vaccine soon – two million by October – and negotiations are taking place with Moderna. Via Covax and the African Fund for the Acquisition of Vaccines, President Emmanuel Macron announced on August 30 a partnership with the African Union to provide the continent with 10 million doses over the next three months. Most of AstraZeneca, as well as vaccines from the agreement with Pfizer.
Although AstraZeneca’s efficacy is good, it is lower than that of messenger RNA vaccines
Concerning the Swedish-British vaccine, the product is not retained by Paris because of the multiple health controversies that have accompanied it since its marketing: “Even if the effectiveness of AstraZeneca is good, it is less strong. than that of messenger RNA vaccines. In addition, the risk of thrombosis exists ”, admitted on September 9 to the World Alain Fischer, Chairman of the Vaccine Strategy Steering Committee. The day before, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) had given a layer, announcing to have listed a few hundred cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome after the injection of the AstraZeneca vaccine, officially called Vaxzevria.
France is not the only country to redirect the doses of this vaccine to the Covax device, a double blow to abandon the use of a product with bad press while participating in this international solidarity device. Switzerland has already given the program 4 of the 5.4 million doses of AstraZeneca it had, but kept its reserves of Pfizer and Moderna. And Italy has just offered Iraq “100,800 AstraZeneca vaccines […] first delivery out of the 15 million doses ”that the country has undertaken to provide to Covax, according to a statement from Unicef.