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Faced with European skepticism, the UK defends Oxford vaccine distribution among all ages

Britain’s Health Minister on Wednesday defended the country’s vaccine deployment strategy after skepticism emerged in Europe, saying science supported the decision to give the injection developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca to all age groups.

France, Belgium and Germany are among the European Union countries that recommend that the Oxford vaccine only be given to people under 65 years of age. French President Emmanuel Macron said the vaccine appeared to be “quasi-ineffective” among those over 65, according to comments quoted on Friday.

 

That’s hotly contested by the vaccine’s developers and the British government, with Health Minister Matt Hancock defending the kingdom’s approach when asked about Macron’s comment.

“My point of view is that we should listen to scientists (…), the science on this was already pretty clear, and then with this post (…), it is absolutely clear that the Oxford vaccine doesn’t just work It works fine, “Hancock told BBC Radio, referring to the new Oxford data.

 

An academic report released Tuesday showed that the Oxford vaccine was 76% effective after a first injection for 3 months until a second injection was given, and higher if the second dose was given 12 weeks after the first. , supporting the London decision to extend the interval between inoculations.

 

However, the study did not provide direct additional evidence of efficacy in older people.

Asked about Macron’s words, the head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, Andrew Pollard, stated: “I don’t understand what that statement means.”

 

“The point is that we have significantly less data on older adults, so people are less certain about the level of protection,” Pollard told BBC radio.

“But we have good immune responses in older adults very similar to younger adults, the protection we see is in exactly the same direction and of a similar magnitude.”

 

The UK is well ahead of France and other EU countries in the pace of vaccination campaigns, having approved the Oxford / AstraZeneca injection earlier and made the change in dosing guidelines to provide some protection to more people in a faster period of time.

French Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune defended the comparatively slower pace of launching the vaccines, stating that London had taken “enormous risks”, for example, by using the Oxford / AstraZeneca injection in older people.

Ben Oakley
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