Moderna vaccine will be used in areas of France worst-hit by Covid-19

Moderna vaccine will be used in areas of France worst-hit by Covid-19
Photo: AFP
France's health minister said on Sunday that more than 50,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine from US-based Moderna, newly authorised in Europe, would be ready for use this week in hard-hit regions.

Olivier Véran told Europe 1 radio that after arriving in France on Monday, the vaccine would be sent to towns and cities with the highest virus circulation, largely in eastern France – from Strasbourg on the German border to Nice on the Mediterranean.

Coming on top of ongoing distribution of Pfizer-BioNTech shots, the Moderna doses would reach vaccination centres by Wednesday, Véran added.

The health ministry said in a statement that almost eight million doses of Moderna's vaccine would arrive in France by July.

Like the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, it takes two injections spaced out over several weeks for Moderna's version to reach maximum effectiveness.

It poses fewer logistical challenges however as it requires storage only at -20C rather than around -80C for Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine.

After fierce criticism of the government for a halting start to its campaign, Veran said that by the end of the weekend over 100,000 people would have been vaccinated.

Neighbouring Germany has already topped half a million, while Britain says it is injecting 200,000 per day.


Several areas of eastern France re reporting worrying high levels of Covid-19 cases and increasing pressure on hospitals. An earlier curfew of 6pm – 6am has now been extended to 23 départements.

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