In a surprising reversal on national policy regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, the French government has now given the thumbs up on those over 65 receiving the British made AstraZeneca form of the vaccine.

Speaking late Monday, the French Health Minister Olivier Véran said “People affected by co-morbidities can be vaccinated with AstraZeneca, including those aged between 65 and 74,” according to reports.

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French President Emmanuel Macron has previously called the AstraZeneca vaccine “quasi-ineffective” and to date, only around a quarter of a million of 1.7 million doses delivered from the UK earlier in the year are understood to have been administered.

Prior to the decision, only those aged under 65 were able to receive the vaccine, but with none of those having taken part in trials for the vaccine prior to its release having later been admitted to hospital or suffering serious side effects, it is believed the French government is now putting its faith in the vaccine produced over the Channel in England.

To date, over 20 million British citizens have received the first dose of the vaccine with a follow up shot, usually administered between one and three months after the first having been given to over half a million.

Like France prior to the reversal, Germany still limits the vaccine to those under 65 as the European Union faces claims of a disjointed approach to vaccine rollout with individual nations largely left to their own devices.

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