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French PM has AstraZeneca vaccine hours after France ruled against giving jab to under-55s

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AstraZeneca: Suspension of vaccine will ‘cost lives’ says expert

Over recent weeks, the inoculation of the AstraZeneca vaccine – which was developed by Oxford University – has been halted in several EU member states over concerns the jab increases the risk of blood clots.

Now, Mr Castex, 55, has revealed he received a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and said he did not “feel a thing”.

This week, French President Emmanuel Macron halted use of the vaccine following advice from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Mr Macron said: “We have a simple guide, to be informed by science and the competent health authorities and to do it as part of a European strategy.”

But the French Health Authority has now revealed inoculation of the vaccine “can resume immediately” and can be administered to people over 55.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex

French Prime Minister Jean Castex (Image: Getty)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she would have the jab

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she would have the jab (Image: Getty)

The French regulator said: “Given the data provided by the EMA, it is the Haute Autorité de santé’s (HAS) belief that vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine can resume immediately.

“However, the EMA has identified a possible increased risk of (thrombosis) in people under 55 years old.

“The HAS recommends using the AstraZeneca vaccine at this stage only for people aged 55 and over, who represent the majority of priority people.”

Germany stopped administering the vaccine earlier this week with immediate effect, with the Health Minister Jens Spahn saying the decision was not political.

READ MORE: Top health psychologist dissects Europe’s AstraZeneca ‘betrayal’

Boris Johnson has received the AstraZeneca jab

Boris Johnson has received the AstraZeneca jab (Image: Getty)

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted she would take the vaccine, despite the ban, and reassured the public over the efficacy of the jab.

She said: “Yes I would take the AstraZeneca vaccine.”

But Ms Merkel said she would “would like to wait until it’s my turn” as the German Health Ministry has claimed the vaccine is not recommended for those over-65.

This week, the Federal Ministry of Health has revealed there were more than 13 cases of blood clots in cerebral veins related to the vaccine.

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Coronavirus cases around the world

Coronavirus cases around the world (Image: Express)

Despite the increased number of blood clots reported, the World Health Organisation has urged EU nations to continue to use the vaccine.

The WHO’s European director, Hans Kluge, said: “As of now, we do not know whether some or all of the conditions have been caused by the vaccine or by other coincidental factors.

“At this point in time, however, the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine far outweigh its risks and its use should continue, to save lives.”

Spain has also suspended the jab for at least two weeks, according to Spanish Health Minister Carolina Darias.

EU member states have halted AstraZeneca jab

EU member states have halted AstraZeneca jab (Image: Getty)

While at least 13 EU countries halted the use of the vaccine, other member states – such as Belgium, Poland and the Czech Republic – said they would continue using the vaccine.

Belgium’s Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke said due to the high number of cases, the country could not afford to stop the vaccine rollout.

He said: “For us, the balance is clear and clear, it’s a race against time.”

Despite a ban on use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the World Health Organisation’s European director, Hans Kluge, urged EU nations to continue to use the vaccine.

World Health Organisation's European director, Hans Kluge

World Health Organisation’s European director, Hans Kluge (Image: Getty)

He said: “As of now, we do not know whether some or all of the conditions have been caused by the vaccine or by other coincidental factors.

“At this point in time, however, the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine far outweigh its risks and its use should continue, to save lives.”

Mr Kluge’s warning came after Germany reported the biggest rise of cases in two months.



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