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France and UK remain confident in AstraZeneca vaccine

Credit: Belga

The United Kingdom will continue to use the AstraZeneca vaccine even after a study showed the vaccine has limited efficacy against the South African variant, British vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi told The Telegraph newspaper on Monday.

French Health Minister Olivier Véran also says he has confidence in the vaccine.

The British government has “confidence” in its current vaccination plan and in the “protection it will provide us all against this terrible disease,” according to Zahawi. “We need to be aware that a vaccine may still be effective against severe forms of the disease, hospitalisation and death, even if it is less effective in preventing infection,” he added.

French Health Minister Olivier Véran said on Monday during his own vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine that it is totally reliable and offers sufficient protection against almost all variants of the virus.

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On Sunday, the Financial Times reported that the vaccine from the Anglo-Swedish company and Oxford University offered only limited protection against mild and moderate forms of the disease caused by the coronavirus.

AstraZeneca has already stated that the study in question was carried out on 2,000 young, healthy people and that the company was convinced that the vaccine will protect people against severe forms because it produces neutralising antibodies similar to other vaccines against the virus.

According to British Deputy Health Minister Edward Argar, 147 South African variant infections have been identified in the UK.

The Brussels Times