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Exclusive: Vaccine shortage delays the first shot of COVID-19 in the Paris region, sources say

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Paris (Reuters)-A shortage of COVID-19 vaccine has forced two other regions in Paris and France, which make up one-third of the population, to postpone their first vaccination, sources familiar with the argument. , And health officials said Thursday.

File photo: On January 18, 2021, an elderly person was vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at the Vaccination Center in the City Hall of the Paris Center in France.Reuters / Benoitessier / File Photo

Europe is facing a vaccine shortage as pharmaceutical company Pfizer temporarily delays supply due to manufacturing changes. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca said it would cut supply of shots allocated to the EU in the first quarter due to production problems at its Belgian plant.

Portugal said vaccine deployment was slower than planned, and Germany said the shortage would continue until April.

12.1 million local public health agencies in Paris and the surrounding area will stop all deliveries of the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to local hospitals and medical institutions from February 2 at a conference call on Wednesday. Said. , The source said.

Authorities said the second follow-up dose injection would continue, sources said. There were no signs on the phone when the first dose would be resumed.

Authorities cited it as the reason for “a very tight vaccine supply and the need to guarantee a second injection for those who have already been vaccinated.” Reuters saw a summary of the conference call.

A public health agency in the Paris region said in a statement sent to Reuters that it aims to give people first dose injections next week, which is the vaccine delivery originally promised by the manufacturer. Affected by changes in the amount of.

The statement did not mention what authorities had told hospitals in the Paris area during the conference call.

Supply problems

A public health agency in the northern Aude France region said earlier Thursday that it would postpone the first dose of injections planned for early February to the first week of March. It also quoted supply issues.

In the area around the winemaking Burgundy region, health officials said they were postponing appointments for the first injection of the COVID-19 vaccine to address supply shortages.

Care home residents (one of the highest risk of a serious epidemic) are less likely to be affected by the delay, as most have already received the first dose.

However, this delay can affect people over the age of 75 and healthcare professionals who are currently receiving their first dose.

Most of the vaccines currently approved for use worldwide are offered in two doses. The first is limited protection from the virus and the second is necessary for the patient to be fully vaccinated.

The French Ministry of Health said on Wednesday that as of January 26, a total of 1.13 million first doses and 6,153 second doses had been given.

Vaccine deployment in France, like its neighbors in Europe, is far behind other countries. States such as Israel, Serbia, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom have already vaccinated a much larger proportion of their population.

The supply problem that hit France is affecting other countries in the block as EU countries have decided to procure vaccines in bulk.

Portugal said the first phase of the vaccination program would be extended by about two months until April. This is because due to late delivery, you will receive half of your expected dose by March.

Germany is still facing a shortage in April. “The lack of vaccines will keep us in a difficult situation for at least 10 weeks,” Health Minister Jens Spahn said in a tweet.

Report by Caroline Piries; Written by Christian Lowe and Geert De Clercq, Edited by Giles Elgood

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