France policy on AstraZeneca vaccine ‘completely crackers,’ says UK government scientific adviser

France’s decision to limit the AstraZeneca jab to people aged 55 and over has been described as “completely crackers” by a government scientific adviser.

After a week in which questions were widely raised over the safety of the vaccine amid reports of blood clotting in some recipients, health officials from across the continent have insisted that the benefits of the jab in preventing Covid-19 far outweigh all associated risks.

Both the UK and EU medicines regulators concluded on Thursday that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and can continue to be used to inoculate people.

Although France has since restarted using the jab, having been one of 15 countries that paused their rollouts as investigations into the blood clots were conducted, it has said the vaccine should not be administered to people under 55 years old.

The French national health authority justified the decision by pointing out that all three French patients who suffered blood clots after receiving the vaccine were younger than 55, having previously said the jab was unsuitable for the elderly.

Professor Sir John Bell, a member of the UK’s vaccine taskforce, warned that the changing advice was undermining confidence in the whole vaccination programme.

“It doesn’t make any sense. The whole thing looks completely crackers. They are changing the rules almost every week,” he told the Today programme.

“They are really damaging people’s confidence in vaccines generally – not just the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“They are sitting on a massive stockpile of vaccines that they haven’t deployed yet, and at the same time they have got a massive wave of the new variants coming across the country. You couldn’t make it up.”

He added: “If there are clotting problems associated with the vaccines – I am not saying there are, but if there were – they are at a very tiny level compared with the problems you get if you get the disease. If you want to die of a clot, get Covid. »

It comes as the health secretary, Matt Hancock, said that half of all adults in the UK have now received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Government data up to 18 March suggested that 49.9 per cent of the UK population aged 18 and over had received a first dose of the vaccine, with an estimated 73,000 more jabs needed to pass the halfway mark. These figures are expected to be updated later on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Kate Bingham, the former head of the UK’s vaccine taskforce, said some European leaders were being “completely irresponsible” over their approach to the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab.

“If I was sitting in those countries, I would not be happy to have leaders that are undermining a vaccine that could actually protect,” Ms Bingham told the Daily Telegraph.

“The data is coming through every day showing how effective it is in the older people. It’s not good from a vaccine hesitancy perspective.”

UK news in picturesShow all 511/51UK news in pictures
UK news in pictures19 March 2021

A parakeet eats a cherry blossom in St. James’s Park, London, Britain


UK news in pictures18 March 2021

Highland cattle lock horns at the National Trust’s Wicken Fen Nature Reserve in Cambridgeshire


UK news in pictures17 March 2021

A cleaner uses a fogging machine to clean a train carriage early in the morning


UK news in pictures16 March 2021

A giant 60-metre wide sand portrait of 12-year-old Ansha from Ethiopia created by WaterAid on Whitby Beach in Yorkshire. The image of the young girl, who spends hours each day collecting dirty water from a river, was created to illustrate how climate change threatens water access for world’s poorest


UK news in pictures15 March 2021

Five kayaks, each reflecting the shape of a human bone, form Osteoclast (I do not know how I came to be on board this ship, this navel of my ark) (2021), a sculpture by Teresa Solar, positioned outside Exchange Flags, it’s one of the outdoor exhibits in the 11th edition of Liverpool Biennial which opens March 20, 2021, and features a series of outdoor sculpture, sonic and digital commissions by nine different artists. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday March 15, 2021. PA Photo. To align with government guidelines, the second ‘inside’ chapter will launch the full festival of exhibitions and events hosted by key venues throughout the city in late Spring


UK news in pictures14 March 2021

Protesters calling for greater public safety for women after the death of Sarah Everard, against the police handling of a gathering on Clapham Common in Sarah Everard’s honour and against a proposed law that would give police more powers to intervene on protests hold up their mobile phones with their torches illuminated in Parliament Square in central London

AFP via Getty

UK news in pictures13 March 2021

A well-wisher places flowers at a band-stand where a planned vigil in honour of murder victim Sarah Everard was cancelled after police outlawed it due to Covid-19 restrictions, on Clapham Common, south London

AFP via Getty Images

UK news in pictures12 March 2021

Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the Labour Party, and Jonathan Ashworth, Shadow Health Secretary, launch a poster in central London, criticising the government’s recommendation of a 1 percent NHS pay proposal, following the party’s campaign launch on Thursday for the local and mayoral elections in May


UK news in pictures11 March 2021

Waves crash over the harbour wall in Newhaven, southern England


UK news in pictures10 March 2021

Officers from the Metropolitan Police search woodland near to Great Chart Golf and Leisure in Ashford, Kent


UK news in pictures9 March 2021

A vertical mulcher machine is used to clear trees during the restoration of an ancient bog near Kielder Water in Northumberland. The ancient habitat, known as the Border Mires, is under threat from encroaching trees which are being removed as part of a 50 year old environmental project to protect the Border Mires in Northumberland


UK news in pictures8 March 2021

Students take Lateral Flow Tests for coronavirus at the Jewellery Quarter Academy in Birmingham in the West Midlands, as pupils in England return to school for the first time in two months as part of the first stage of lockdown easing


UK news in pictures7 March 2021

Nurses and NHS workers from the campaign group NHS Workers Say No, and Unite’s Guys and St Thomas Hospital Union branch, hold a socially distanced protest outside Downing Street in London over the proposed 1% pay rise from the Government


UK news in pictures6 March 2021

Rangers fans outside the stadium after the Scottish Premiership match at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow


UK news in pictures5 March 2021

People go for a walk at The Dream a sculptor in Sutton Manor, St Helens, Merseyside, on a clear Spring day


UK news in pictures4 March 2021

Health Secretary Matt Hancock during a visit to the Centre for Virus Research at Glasgow University in Glasgow


UK news in pictures3 March 2021

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his Budget


UK news in pictures2 March 2021

A train rounds the coast and heads towards the Carbis Bay Estate hotel and beach, which is set to be the main venue for the upcoming G7 summit


UK news in pictures1 March 2021

Newborn lambs in a field at A J Thompson & Sons farm on the Romney Marsh near Lydd in Kent on the first day of meteorological spring


UK news in pictures28 February 2021

People walking on the beach in Scarborough, North Yorkshire


UK news in pictures27 February 2021

The coffin of Captain Tom Moore is being carried members of the Armed Forces at Bedford Crematorium in Bedford


UK news in pictures26 February 2021

A dog stands on rocks as the sun rises behind it at New Brighton beach, Wirral


UK news in pictures25 February 2021

Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds delivers a pre-Budget speech to the Institute of Global Prosperity at Labour Party headquarters in London


UK news in pictures24 February 2021

Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock looks on outside Downing Street in London, Britain


UK news in pictures23 February 2021

Two surfers make their way into the sea off of Boscombe beach in Dorset


UK news in pictures22 February 2021

Crocuses bloom outside Trinity College in Cambridge


UK news in pictures21 February 2021

Street art adorns many of the streets and walls around the Digbeth area of Birmingham


UK news in pictures20 February 2021

Parts of Callander in Stirlingshire flooded after the River Teith burst its banks


UK news in pictures19 February 2021

The sun rises over St Mary’s Lighthouse, Northumberland


UK news in pictures18 February 2021

Cars drive along the A1101 in Welney, Norfolk, which is passable again after two months submerged by floodwater


UK news in pictures17 February 2021

Professor Green announces Tideway’s new 25km Super Sewer is ‘Heading East’, marking a major stage in the construction of the tunnel, as two giant Tunnel Boring Machines link up to break through into Bermondsey and commence tunnelling towards East London. Once completed, the sewer system will prevent millions of tonnes of raw sewage entering the Thames


UK news in pictures16 February 2021

man holds up signs reading “I LOST MY JOB!!” and “BORIS, WHO IS GOING TO PAY THIS BILL? I DON’T HAVE ANY MONEY TO PAY MY CREDIT CARD” at the window of his hotel room at the Radisson Blu hotel in London


UK news in pictures15 February 2021

Passengers arriving at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 are escorted by security personal to buses. From today, people arriving from 33 « red list » countries, including South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, must isolate in hotels rooms for 10 days at their own expense. The policy was announced late last month in response to the emergence of new variants of the novel coronavirus that are more resistant to existing vaccines.


UK news in pictures14 February 2021

People play ice hockey on frozen flooded fields near Ely in Cambridgeshire


UK news in pictures13 February 2021

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, wearing a face mask, accompanied by Sarah Rose (left), MD of the Northumbria healthcare PPE manufacturing hub in Seaton Delaval


UK news in pictures12 February 2021

Lanterns hang across the street to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year which marks the Year of the Ox, in Chinatown, central London, during England’s third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.


UK news in pictures11 February 2021

European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic at London’s St Pancras Station after arriving in the UK ahead of talks with Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove on the Northern Ireland protocol.


UK news in pictures10 February 2021

A frozen road sign and hedgerow are covered in icicles, as Storm Darcy affects large parts of the country, in Shenley, Hertfordshire


UK news in pictures9 Februrary 2021

People walk up Gardner street in Glasgow as snow blankets the city


UK news in pictures8 February 2021

Drifting snow covers a car in Harwood, County Durham


UK news in pictures7 February 2021

People walk through the snow in Knole Park in Sevenoaks


UK news in pictures6 February 2021

A boy sledges at Moulin Moor near Pitlochry, as storm Darcy approaches, in Scotland


UK news in pictures5 February 2021

Research centre assistant Layla Hillsden with a rare copy of the 1647 Beaumont and Fletcher folio, an anthology of plays by John Fletcher and William Beaumont, from the personal library of King Charles II that has recently been acquired by Special Collections at the University of Leeds


UK news in pictures4 February 2021

Al Goodridge, from Newtonmore, uses an axe to create a channel in the ice for his wife Alice to swim in in Loch Insh, in the Cairngorms National Park


UK news in pictures3 February 2021

A mural of Captain Sir Tom Moore, by artist Robert Newbiggin, adorns a wall in Southport. The WWII veteran raised nearly £33 million for NHS charities ahead of his 100th birthday last year by walking laps of his garden in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire. He was admitted to Bedford Hospital this weekend after testing positive for Covid-19 and died yesterday with his family present


UK news in pictures2 February 2021

Police officers remove an environmental activist protesting against the HS2 high speed rail line, from the roof of the HS2 office in central London on February 2, 2021. – Designed to run to the former industrial powerhouse Birmingham and then Manchester and Leeds, HS2 was supposed to follow on from London’s southern Eurostar connection with Paris

AFP via Getty Images

UK news in pictures1 February 2021

Christine Barry lifts her son Oran, two, up to kiss a statue of St Brigid as they visit St Brigid’s holy well in Co Kildare to mark St Brigid’s Day which is seen by many in Ireland as the first day of Spring


UK news in pictures31 January 2021

People walk a dog in Pugneys Country Park in Wakefield, West Yorkshire


UK news in pictures30 January 2021

Firefighters inspect the charred remains of a block at Napier Barracks after police have said a fire was started deliberately in Folkestone, England. Napier Barracks, part of the disused Somerset House Sir John Moore Army Barracks, has been used since last summer to house Asylum Seekers arriving from France to the South Coast. It has been reported that 120 of the 400 people being housed there have caught Coronavirus and a visiting doctor had described the living conditions as “inhumane”


UK news in pictures29 January 2021

Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community take part in Friday prayers at the Baitus Subhan Mosque in Croydon, England. For nearly the past year, the Covid-19 pandemic, and its resulting limits on public gatherings, have forced religious communities to find new ways to observe prayers, with many events being marked at home. Mosques as well as other places of religious worship remain open, though numbers have been limited to help maintain social distancing


UK news in pictures28 January 2021

Artwork depicting animals, created by Raymond and Leonard is displayed in the window of a house in Acton, London, to launch The Great Big Art Exhibition, the nation’s largest ever exhibition, an initiative by Firstsite


Earlier on Saturday, Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling (Spi-M) group that advises the government, said there was a danger that new variants could jeopardise the vaccination programme later in the year.

Other experts have also warned there could be a third wave of Covid-19 infections in the UK and have advised people not to consider overseas holidays when restrictions ease later this year.

Infectious disease expert Dr Tildesley told the Today programme: “I think that international travel this summer is, for the average holidaymaker, sadly, I think, extremely unlikely.”

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *