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VACCINE

Paris prosecutors open manslaughter probe into deaths following AstraZeneca vaccines

Paris prosecutors are taking on and combining into a involuntary manslaughter probe three separate investigations over deaths of three people who were given the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in France, they said on Wednesday.

Paris prosecutors open manslaughter probe into deaths following AstraZeneca vaccines
Photo: Joel Saget/AFP

Prosecutors specialised in leading complex investigations into health products will take on the preliminary probes already opened after complaints were filed in Toulouse, Paris and Nantes.

The initial investigations had been carried out by regional prosecutors.

According to the Paris prosecutor’s office, the plaintiffs are questioning if there was a causal role of the Astrazeneca vaccine in the deaths of their loved ones.

“We first went to local prosecutors for the sake of speed and to have autopsies and then asked them to transfer the file to Paris,” Etienne Boittin, the lawyer behind the complaints told AFP.

In Nantes, a medical student aged 26 died suddenly of a blood clot on March 18th just a few days after getting vaccinated with the AstraZeneca jab. The case from Toulouse concerns a social worker aged 38 who also died of a blood clot after her health deteriorated sharply after getting the jab.

Boittin said he was handling fifteen cases of people who died in France after having been vaccinated with AstraZeneca, the vast majority of them aged “under 60 years”.

France’s national health authority Haute autorité de Santé (HAS) last month said the AstraZeneca vaccine should only be given to those aged 55 and over because of reports of potentially deadly blood clots in a very small number of younger people vaccinated.

The move is broadly similar to actions taken by several European countries although Denmark has banned the use of the vaccine outright.

The authorities have also said under 55s who received a first injection of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine should be given a second jab from a different producer.

However France has said it has full confidence in the AstraZeneca vaccine for the over 55s and emphasised it retains a key role in the vaccine rollout.

“You are 50 times more likely to get a vein blood clot crossing the Atlantic by plane than getting vaccinated with AstraZeneca. Vaccines protect us from Covid-19. Let’s not give into mistrust!” Health Minister Olivier Véran said earlier this month.

Member comments

  1. Frankly they should open an enquiry into manslaughter by the government due to their complete inability to organise the vaccination process in a timely fashion which resulted in many preventable deaths.

  2. People do not want that AstraZeneca poison put into their arms, neither do they want any other covid-19 injection. Why isn’t this understood?

      1. I agree vaccines aren’t a poison. I didn’t say they are.
        What you don’t understand is that AZ is not a vaccine, it’s an injection.
        Go and read up about what vaccines really are.

        1. Hi Danielle
          Most vaccines, but not all, are injections. AZ is definitely a vaccine against Covid.
          Ken

        2. Daniela, it’s entirely understandable to feel concerned about lethal side effects of vaccines, but you shouldn’t confuse valid subjective concerns with valid objective measurements and entirely discard the latter. It is possible to comprehend and respect both and to make a well-informed decision. The world is complicated, and we should fully acknowledge that and make efforts to understand, instead of simplifying and trivializing.

  3. I fully understand Daniela, it is all nice and well to throw procentages for chances around, for those three healthy peoplpe and their families it was 100% bad luck, of you can call it that. What about if you are between 55 and 60? I understand very few of those women thinking Astrazeneca is a good idea! That’s only logic.

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COVID-19

France scraps compulsory self-isolation after positive Covid test

France's public health body outlined how Covid-19 rules changed starting on February 1st, including an end to compulsory self-isolation after a positive test result.

France scraps compulsory self-isolation after positive Covid test

Starting on February 1st, Covid rules relaxed in France as the country brought an end to compulsory isolation for those who test positive for the virus.

However, those travelling from China to France will still be required to agree to a random screening upon arrival and to isolate in the case of a positive Covid-19 test result. Travellers aged 11 and over coming from China must also provide a negative test result (less tan 48 hours) prior to boarding and those aged six and over must agree to wear a mask on board flights. These regulations – which was set to last until January 31st – is set to remain in place until February 15th.

The French public health body (The Direction générale de la santé or DGS)  announced the change on Saturday in a decree published in the “Journal Officiel” outlining the various ways the body will loosen previous coronavirus restrictions.

READ MORE: What Covid rules and recommendations remain for visiting France?

Those who were in contact with someone who tested positive – ie a contact cases – will also no longer be required to take a test, though the public health body stressed that both testing after contact and isolating after receiving a positive test remain recommended.

Previously, even asymptomatic people who had been in contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19 were required to test on the second day after being notified that they were a “contact-case”.

These changes took effect on February 1st.

READ MORE: What changes in France in February 2023?

The DGS also said that website SI-DEP, which records test results, will remain in operation until June 30th, however starting in February it will only collect personal data with the express permission of the patient.

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Additionally, the French government announced that sick leave procedures for people with Covid-19 would return to normal starting February 1st – this means that those who test positive for Covid-19 now also have the three-day wait period before daily sick benefits are required to be paid, as is usually the case. Previously, people with Covid-19 could expect daily sick benefits to begin at the start of their sick leave period (arrêt maladie in French).  

READ MORE: How sick leave pay in France compares to other countries in Europe

Covid tests are still available on walk-in basis from most pharmacies are are free to people who are fully vaccinated and registered in the French health system. Unvaccinated people, or visitors to France, have to pay up to a maximum of €22 for an antigen test of €49 for a PCR test. 

If you recently tested positive for Covid-19 in France – or you suspect you may have contracted Covid-19 – you can find some information for how to proceed here.

In explaining the changes that began at the start of February, the French public health body also noted a drop in Covid-19 infections in the past month. As of January 30th, approximately 3,800 people in France had tested positive in the previous 24 hours for the coronavirus – which represents a decrease from the averages of 20,000 new cases per day about one month ago.

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