Wednesday, March 03, 2021

French doctors slam 'AstraZeneca bashing' as France enacts U-turn on jabs for over-65s

French doctors have blamed deep domestic scepticism of AstraZeneca on the “bad press” it has received, including criticism from Emmanuel Macron that it was “quasi-ineffective” for the elderly.

The indirect criticism of the French president, who was forced to say he would take the jab if necessary last week, came as Gallic health regulators said they would make the jab available for the over 65s.

Mr Macron fanned Gallic scepticism over the jab developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University in January hours before it received a green light from the European Medecines Agency by saying: “Everything points to thinking it is quasi-ineffective on people older than 65, some say those 60 years or older."

Since then, French reports of flu-like side-effects among dozens of health workers further tainted its image.

That contributed to a dearth of demand in France, where only 24 per cent of AstraZeneca stocks have been used, according to the health ministry.

That is well below a target set at 80-85 per cent and compares with 82 per cent for vaccines made by Pfizer/BioNTech and 37 per cent for those made by Moderna.

"It is true that we are facing issues with AstraZeneca vaccines," said a health ministry official.

The scepticism prompted Jacques Battistoni, head of the MG France doctors' union to denounce the widespread "AstraZeneca bashing" that was causing many vials to go unused.

France’s vaccination coordinator, Alain Fischer, has also complained that the "bad press" surrounding the shot was "deeply unfair".

All vaccines combined, France has only injected three million people with a first dose and 1.6 million a second to date. The UK has given at least one dose to more than 21 million people. However, France has administered two injections to roughly twice as many citizens - preferring initially to target only the over 75s and health workers.

However, after talking down the AstraZeneca jab, the country has now abruptly changed its tune, with Mr Macron urging people to take it.

"If this is the vaccine I'm offered, obviously I would take it," he said after a European Council meeting on Friday.

On Monday, French health minister Olivier Veron said that the vaccine would now be made available to those between 65-75 with serious health risks.

The French U-turn came after the release of a recent study published in Scotland that showed the AstraZeneca shot lowered the chance of being hospitalised for four to six weeks by 94 per cent after one shot and was effective in older people.

The World Heath Organisation has also recommended the jab for over-65s.

In light of this, the French health minister said: “The higher health council now considers as of today that all three vaccines that we have in France have a remarkable efficacy to protect people against the risk of severe forms of Covid-19."

“As a result, I can announce that from now on people aged 50 and above who have conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or a history of cancer can be vaccinated with AstraZeneca, including those aged 65 to 74.”

The previous advice had been for the UK-Swedish company’s vaccine to be given only to people aged 50 to 64 with comorbidities and to healthcare workers. Those over 75 will continue to receive the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, he added.

It remains unclear whether France will also eat humble pie over previous criticism of the UK's decision to space out jabs.

Last month, France's Europe minister Clément Beaune slammed the practice, saying: "I don't think our public would accept that we take all those risks against the advice of our scientists."

However, the country's top health body now says there is sufficient evidence to space out AstraZeneca jabs by up to 12 weeks. The health ministry has not said whether it would heed the advice.

The French government has come under fierce criticism in recent weeks for a sluggish and inefficient vaccination rollout. Authorities are also battling the highest vaccine scepticism in the Western world. Around half of health workers in French care homes do not want to get a jab.

There are fears the country, which has a blanket 6pm to 6am curfew, may have to impose lockdowns in at least 20 departments in the coming days due to rising infection rates. Authorities are “seriously considering” weekend lockdowns in the Paris region.

On Monday, the daily death toll was 379 and 3,544 Covid patient were in intensive care with 25,430 people hospitalised. The incidence rate in the Paris area is now 322 per 100,000.

Schools remain open and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo on Tuesday suggested that classes should take place outside in city squares and parks where possible - an idea the education ministry and unions said could be possible.

Mr Macron on Monday told the French to “hold tight for another four to six weeks”. On Tuesday, government spokesman Gabriel Attal insisted there was “light at the end of the tunnel with vaccination”, adding that this would be accelerated as pharmacies were to authorised to give people jabs.

The French change of tune on AstraZeneca came as Belgium's health council advised authorities to lift a ban on the vaccine for the over 55s on Tuesday. Belgium had previously ruled out authorising the jab for the over 55s, blaming a lack of clinical data.

In Canada, the vaccine was authorised for people who are 18 and older by drug regulator on Friday but the regulator noted that available clinical trial data was too limited to reliably estimate how well the vaccine worked in people 65 and older.

But it also said "emerging real world evidence" in places that had already started using the vaccine suggested a potential benefit and no safety concerns.

Germany is under pressure to change its vaccination strategy after the country's top vaccine regulator acknowledged that advice against giving the AstraZeneca jab to over 65s had been flawed.


Democrats Manufacture Racism

If you wanted to tear apart a country, really have the people hate each other, the playbook Democrats are following would be the way to do it. Take something irrelevant, but over which people can do nothing, and build it up into everything. Convince people others are out to get them, thereby absolving them of any responsibility for problems in their life, and they will eventually give up. Convince others they are perpetrators of something horrible, which only works with those out of real problems, and you have the makings of Nazi-esque powers of manipulation. This is what Democrats are doing with race, and it can no longer simply be laughed off. It must be actively confronted and exposed.

The tip of the spear in this mental race-war movement on the left are Ibram Kendi and Robin DiAngelo, with their personal Mein Kampfs, “How to Be an Anti-Racist” and “White Fragility.” The basic premise of each book is white people are racists and everyone else is a victim. The only way for a white person to not be a racist is to self-flagellate on the altar of progressive politics while cutting a big check to whichever of these grievance grifters happens to be collecting a big payday from the nearest school that day.

It’s a hell of a racket. Who knew there were literally millions to be made in telling rich white liberals their skin is the root of all problems in the world? I wish I had thought of it. If I had known wealthy suburbanites led lives so devoid of meaning that they’d turned to mental masochism, I would’ve happily told them how awful they are and for half the price. They disgust me, but it never occurred to me to rip them off.

Now an entire industry of phony race-grievance exists, and it’s motivating damn near everything the Democratic Party does.

We now have the Cartoon Network running public service announcements telling children to “see color” when it comes to people. In a little less than 60 years we’ve gone from Martin Luther King changing the world with the words, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” to a cartoon character telling kids, “My experience with anti-black racism is really specific. Other people of color experience other forms of racism, too. But you won't see any of that if you 'don't see color.’”

You could light the eastern seaboard by plugging MLK’s grave into the power grid, he’s turning over in it so fast.

Professional grievance has power over stupid people now, and everyone is excited to play.

Someone with the title “principal chief of the Cherokee Nation” asked Jeep to discontinue using the name “Jeep Grand Cherokee” because why not? The Redskins are now “the Washington football team,” and college newspapers happily run opinion pieces on fears of how “Mid-Semester Residential Experience could enforce settler colonialism.”

The last in that list, which comes from American University, laments “The large influx of predominantly affluent white students into D.C.’s ‘chocolate city,’ a term that refers to its large population of Black citizens, could evoke similar effects of settler colonialism and negatively impact the community.” A conservative speaking at an event in the same zip code as AU would cause a student riot and condemnation from the school’s administrators and faculty, but not straight-up racism, like complaining white students who return to campus early are probably going to get black people sick and “are likely not planning to give back to the communities that they reside in and will buy out stock at stores and malls, making the resources in those communities limited.”

Switch the races and it’s something the KKK could’ve written. Given the environment the left has created in this country, the student who wrote it will now be faced with a “Sophie’s choice” between a show on MSNBC and s Cabinet post in the Biden administration.

This racism as anti-racism can only exist as long as people keep funding it. DiAngelo has a new book coming out that promises to keep the gravy train rolling for her and the industry. Called “Nice Racism: How Progressive White People Perpetuate Racial Harm,” because no one will ever be “woke” enough. The description says “Dismantling white supremacy requires white people to commit to a lifetime of education and accountability.”

Keep sending those checks, left-wing suckers, but leave the rest of us the hell out of it. Stop playing along, and stop being silent. They can’t cancel all of us, but we have to cancel them. Starving the beast is the only way to kill it. Don’t buy their books, don’t watch their networks, don’t patronize their sponsors (both those that advertise on their shows and the companies that cut them checks). It’s gonna suck, but not buying Coca-Cola is a small price to pay for refusing to subsidize a company that tells its employees to “try to be less white.” And don’t be silent, no matter what they scream back at you.

In their pursuit of manufacturing racism out of thin air for control over people, Democrats are exposing themselves as the racists they’ve always been. Let them. Just refuse to participate in it with them. Let them choke on it. They deserve nothing better.



Federal judge says national ban against COVID-19-related evictions illegal (UPI)

FBI pinpoints a single suspect in the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick (Business Insider)

Federal officials charge more than 300 in Capitol riot (NBC)

Saudi Crown Prince Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, U.S. intelligence report concludes (Forbes)

Nancy Pelosi's domicile to pull a staggering $120 million from police budget to give to black communities (Disrn)

"San Francisco has seen a sharp rise in violent crime over the past year, with homicides alone rising 35%. Homelessness and drug use has also risen to historic levels."

SCOTUS rules Santa Clara County churches may open indoor services (Disrn)

"Anti-ICE" rioters smash windows, force businesses to board up in Portland (Daily Wire)

Campus police release video proving University of Minnesota student lied about being profiled, harassed (Disrn)

Here's a HuffPo article encouraging parents to support "sex-change" surgeries for their children next to another discouraging people from neutering their dog (Not the Bee)

Judge rules Miss United States of America pageant can exclude men (Disrn)

Dezinformatsiya: NBC rushes to explain why crimes against Asians aren't always hate crimes (Hot Air)

White House shifts thinking on Beijing Winter Olympics boycott as pressure mounts over Uyghur genocide (Examiner)

House Republicans push compromise bill aimed at codifying LGBT "rights" and religious protections (Free Beacon)

Personal income (10%) and spending (2.4%) soared in January (CNBC)

Policy: Joe Biden's Syria airstrike hit the wrong target (1945)

Policy: Rare earth elements aren't that rare, but they're vital to national security (Heritage Foundation)




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