Covid-19: You want the vaccine, but not a dose of AstraZeneca? We’ll tell you how to do it

AstraZeneca’s essential vaccine against Covid-19 has a bad image in some public opinion after multiple cases of thrombosis, even if no official link has been established. Can a patient who wants to be vaccinated refuse the AstraZeneca vaccine?

Of the three vaccines used against Covid-19 in Europe, it is the vaccine that arouses the most doubts, suspicions or even fear. So much so that last weekend more than a thousand patients who were supposed to receive a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Calais, Boulogne-sur-Mer and Gravelines did not come to the appointment. The planned thousand doses were not used. They are distributed in the refrigerators of the Calais hospital.

The vaccine for doctors and pharmacies

As of April 6, 3,242,743 French women and men had received the two doses of the vaccine. 9,526,509 people received the first dose. The vast majority are protected with the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine. In detail, as of April 5, there were 9,009,675 Pfizer vaccines, 2,586,758 AstraZeneca vaccines and 880,502 Moderna vaccines, according to Covid Tracker.

The Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna vaccines, messenger RNA vaccines, are used in vaccinodromes and nursing homes, while the AstraZeneca vaccine, a viral vector type, is used by general practitioners and pharmacists. The storage methods are more flexible.

Can you choose your vaccine?

If the latest adventures of the AstraZeneca vaccine scare you, can you choose your vaccine? In theory no. Your doctor or pharmacist will use an AstraZeneca vaccine when doses are available.

However, it is possible to avoid the AstraZeneca vaccine if you wish. All you have to do is go to the Vitemadose website to make an appointment. You fill in your department and the site will then tell you the first available dates and the name of the vaccine to be used. You will be forwarded to one of the meeting platforms (Doctolib, Maiia, Keldoc or Ordoclic).

According to a simulation carried out by La Dépêche this Wednesday morning at 6 a.m., the first available appointments in the coming days will mainly offer a Pfizer BioNtech vaccine in Ariège (Laroque d’Olmes) in Aveyron (Millau), Lot (Saint -). Céré), Haute-Garonne (Toulouse), Hautes-Pyrénées (Tarbes) and Tarn-et-Garonne (Beaumont-de-Lomagne). Only Lot-et-Garonne (Agen) offers the Moderna vaccine. None of the first available niches offer AstraZeneca’s vaccine. Note that according to our simulation in Aude, Gers and Tarn no appointment was available.

Also read: Covid-19: How vaccination will accelerate in France in the coming weeks

The AstraZeneca vaccine is made by the University of Oxford. MaxPPP photo

Multiple controversies in two months

It must be said that the AstraZeneca vaccine, approved since January 29, 2021, has amassed the vicissitudes. Originally, this vaccine was not approved in France for people over 65. In mid-March he was suspended for three days as a precaution because of a possible risk of thrombosis. A few days later, the Haute Autorité de Santé decided that it should only be reserved for people over 55 years of age. Events that caused the Anglo-Swedish laboratory to change the name of its vaccine. His name is now Vaxzevira.

Twelve cases of thrombosis in France

At the center of the controversy is the AstraZeneca vaccine, which causes twelve cases of thrombosis in France, a median of nine days after vaccination, mainly in women. The Medicines Agency regrets four deaths according to its latest situation update, dated April 2. Two families of patients decided to file a complaint. The Toulousaine Carole Petit (38) suffered a thrombosis in the brain, while the Savoy Joël Crochet (63) died of “multiple thromboses in the liver, kidneys and brain”, according to his family.

Also read: INFO LA DEPECHE. AstraZeneca and thrombosis: The Toulouse family who died in hospital will file a complaint

The eagerly awaited opinion from the European Medicines Agency

So is there a direct link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and thrombosis? An official from the European Medicines Agency reassured this in the Italian press on Tuesday morning. The EMA corrected later in the day by stating that it would make an official statement this Wednesday or Thursday. “We’ll say there’s a link, but we still need to understand how it happens,” said Marco Cavaleri, the agency’s vaccination strategy manager. According to Health, the balance between benefits and risks “largely” remains in favor of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Also read: AstraZeneca vaccine: According to the WHO, the risk-benefit ratio is “largely” in its favor

A patient vaccinated with the Auch vaccinodrome. Photo DDM, Neddir Debbiche

AstraZeneca defends its vaccine

According to the latest ANSM report, 7,439 cases of side effects from the AstraZeneca vaccine were reported in France between February 6 and March 25, 2021, mostly post-flu symptoms.

When asked by the JDD in March, AstraZeneca France’s President Olivier Nataf spoke about the side effects of his vaccine. “The side effects that can be prevented by taking paracetamol are more pronounced in young people and caregivers. This is understandable: Young people react more clearly than those who have already been exposed to the virus. This is more common with caregivers.” .

The laboratory, which is simultaneously testing its vaccine on 300 children aged 6 to 17 in the UK, suspended its program on Tuesday evening. Oxford University confirms that there are no concerns about the clinical trial. However, she prefers to wait for the conclusions of the medical authorities on adult thrombosis.