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Those under 55 vaccinated against Covid-19 with a first dose of AstraZeneca in France will have their second with another vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna, the High Authority for Health (HAS) announced on Friday.
The decision was eagerly awaited by the 533,000 people under the age of 55 who received a first dose of the anti-Covid AstraZeneca vaccine in France. The High Authority for Health (HAS) recommends getting vaccinated with another vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna, for the second dose.
“I am part of this population,” recalled the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, 41, who had been vaccinated on February 8 in his capacity as a neurologist by training.
The chaotic journey of the AstraZeneca vaccine
The HAS had suspended the AstraZeneca vaccine for those under 55 on March 19, due to rare cases of thrombosis (blood clots) detected in Europe. But previously, some people, especially caregivers, had received a first dose of this vaccine injected since early February.
This vaccine, authorized on February 2, was first reserved for people under 65 in France, for lack of data on its effectiveness in the elderly. A month later, its use had been extended to all ages, before its suspension in mid-March a few days after reports of very rare and very atypical thromboses. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) acknowledged on Wednesday that they were well linked to AstraZeneca.
Other countries have also set age limits, but without necessarily choosing the same. AstraZeneca, for example, is reserved for people over 30 in the UK, 60 in Germany or 65 in Sweden.
“A single dose of vaccine is not enough to ensure long-term immunity”
The messenger RNA technique is used by two other vaccines authorized in Europe, those from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna. That of AstraZeneca uses a different technology, called “viral vector”.
“We know that a single dose of vaccine is not sufficient to ensure long-term immunity against Covid-19. A decision had therefore to be made on the vaccine administered for the second dose. It was therefore decided to use an RNA vaccine “, for his part explained on franceinfo Jean-Daniel Lelièvre, head of the infectious diseases department at the Henri-Mondor hospital in Créteil and member of the HAS.