France policy on AstraZeneca vaccine ‘completely crackers,’ says UK government scientific adviser

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France’s decision to limit the AstraZeneca jab to people aged 55 and over has been described as “completely crackers” by a government scientific adviser.

After a week in which questions were widely raised over the safety of the vaccine amid reports of blood clotting in some recipients, health officials from across the continent have insisted that the benefits of the jab in preventing Covid-19 far outweigh all associated risks.

Both the UK and EU medicines regulators concluded on Thursday that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and can continue to be used to inoculate people.

Although France has since restarted using the jab, having been one of 15 countries to pause its rollout as investigations into the blood clots were conducted, it has said the vaccine should not be administered to people under 55.

The French national health authority justified the decision by pointing out that all three French patients who have suffered blood clots after receiving the vaccine were younger than 55 years old, having previously said the jab was unsuitable for the elderly.

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