Exclusive: French health authority says mRNA vaccine should be used as second dose after AstraZeneca

PARIS (Reuters) – The top French health authority will say on Friday that recipients of the first dose of the traditional COVID-19 vaccine against AstraZeneca under the age of 55 should receive a second injection of the messenger-RNA vaccine, two sources familiar with the plans said Thursday. .

PHOTOS PHOTOGRAPHS: The ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the new coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCoV) can be seen in an illustration published at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, January 29, 2020. Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM / CDC / Material via REUTERS./File Photo

Reuters reported on Wednesday that the Haute Autorite de la Sante (HAS), in charge of determining how vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) should be used in France, is considering the possibility.

HAS has now decided to proceed with the plan, two sources said. Two mRNA vaccines, one from Pfizer and BioNTech and one from Moderna, have been approved for use in France.

Messenger RNA vaccines encourage the human body to create a protein that mimics part of the virus, which triggers an immune response, while traditional vaccines like AstraZeneca use an inactivated virus to transmit protein from a pathogen – in this case a new coronavirus – to do the same thing.

A HAS spokeswoman had no comment.

Vaccination programs have stumbled in Europe and elsewhere in the past month, as very few mostly AstraZeneca shooting recipients have been found to suffer from extremely unusual blood clots, prompting some states to suspend its use as a precaution.

Most continued to use bullets, although some did so with age restrictions.

In France, HAS advised on March 19 that only people aged 55 and over should receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has already been given to 500,000 people as a first dose.

Although numbers are small compared to the tens of millions vaccinated across the EU, the decision to make other amplifiers would be significant as the approach has not been tested in the late stages of human testing.

Germany was the first European country to recommend that people under the age of 60 who had their first injection of AstraZeneca should get a different product for their second dose.

Some experts say that since all vaccines target the same external “spike” protein of the virus, it could be complementary. But there is no evidence that this approach will be so effective.

Reporting Matthias Blamont; Editing: Kevin Liffey