France will start allowing some people over 65 to receive the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, after initially restricting its use to younger populations because of limited data on the drug’s effectiveness.
While France first authorized the vaccine only for medical professionals under 65, Health Minister Olivier Veran said Monday that it will soon be available to people over age 50 with health problems that make them vulnerable to COVID-19.
Veran also said that people who have had the virus in recent months will only need one injection of the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. France’s High Authority for Health has argued that recent infection acts as partial protection against the virus, so a second dose isn’t essential.
France has used less than a quarter of the 1.1 million AstraZeneca vaccines it received as of Friday, according to government data. However, its vaccine campaign is expected to pick up in the coming days as more doses are delivered to family doctors and pharmacies.