Yet he had so many assets.
So much so that upon its marketing authorization by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) at the end of January, France bet on AstraZeneca, this inexpensive product, easily transportable and storable in a classic 4-degree refrigerator. .
“It's simple, this vaccine represents 20% of the doses expected in the second quarter by the end of June in France!
»Recalls Frédéric Bizard, professor of economics at ESCP and president of the Institut Santé.
Astrazeneca: no immediate questioning of orders from France
In total, 14.5 million doses of AstraZeneca must be delivered to our country by the end of June, which places the serum in second position in the French vaccination campaign, behind the American Pfizer.
“The first week of May, a very large delivery of Astra is expected in pharmacies.
We are told about 1.8 million doses, ”says the Ministry of Health.
To date, 3.4 million French people have received at least one dose.
While Emmanuel Macron insists on his goal of vaccinating all French adults who want it by the end of the summer, is it possible to do without the vaccine now reserved for over 55s?
Easy to store
"We have enough doses to vaccinate on schedule without Astra until the end of May, but where the situation can get complicated is for phase 3 of the campaign starting in June," ensures for his part the immunologist at the CHU of Saint-Etienne Stéphane Paul.
To vaccinate the general public under the age of 50 next summer, we were betting on a product that was easy to store and use by pharmacists and general practitioners.
However, for the moment, we do not know of a replacement for the AstraZeneca, ”he continues.
AstraZeneca: these doctors who vaccinate under 55s despite the recommendations
“AstraZeneca and Janssen clearly and firmly remain pillars of our vaccine strategy. If we deprive ourselves of this vaccine, we deprive ourselves of hundreds of thousands of vaccinations for the weeks to come, ”insists the Ministry of Health.
What about the Janssen vaccine, developed by a Belgian subsidiary of the American pharmaceutical group Johnson & Johnson?
The latter, also "viral vector" and therefore easy to use, is still the subject of great hopes.
It was to come to strengthen the arsenal of products in the coming weeks.
Following his provisional suspension in the United States and Africa, after the appearance of rare serious blood clots, he is already the subject of suspicion.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is due to speak on Tuesday on its use.
“If we restrict it based on age like the AstraZeneca, it won't be good news.
Pfizer will not be able to vaccinate everyone ”, already fears Stéphane Paul.
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This confirms the government in its positions.
“We have started a race against time, we must use all the doses in our possession.
In the current context, it is always better to be vaccinated at the moment T, than three weeks later, ”says one in the offices of Olivier Véran.