French regulator head expects Moderna Covid-19 vaccine to arrive this week
Dominique Le Guludec, head of the Haute Autorite de Sante (HAS), further said that France wanted more information on the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine shot.
France should receive its first deliveries of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine this week, the head of the medical regulator said on Monday, as the government comes under fire for being too slow with its vaccine rollout.
France, which has a strong anti-vaccination movement, started its inoculation campaign at the end of December, as did many other European countries.
But it has only vaccinated hundreds since then, versus tens of thousands in Germany and more a million in Britain, which on Monday became the first country to roll out the Oxford/AstraZeneca shot.
“I think that the Moderna vaccine ought to arrive this week,” Dominique Le Guludec, head of the Haute Autorite de Sante (HAS), told BFM TV, adding that France wanted more information on the AstraZeneca shot.
The United States authorised Moderna’s vaccine on Dec. 19, Canada did so on Dec. 23 and the EU’s watchdog is expected to approve it this week.
Epidemiologist and government scientific adviser Arnaud Fontanet told France Info radio that France needed to speed up its vaccine rollout and that the spread of the virus in France was too high for the government to ease restrictions.
France has the seventh-highest COVID-19 casualty toll in the world, with more than 65,000 deaths.
President Emmanuel Macron said in his New Year’s Eve speech that everyone in France should be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine if they wanted it.