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AstraZeneca: France says under 55s to receive different second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

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A vial of of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara Sikh temple, on the day the first Vaisakhi Vaccine Clinic is launched, in Luton, England.
A vial of of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara Sikh temple, on the day the first Vaisakhi Vaccine Clinic is launched, in Luton, England.   -   Copyright  Alberto Pezzali/AP Photo
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France's health authority has recommended that adults under 55 who received a first dose of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine should receive a different jab for their second dose.

There are just over 500,000 people under the age of 55 who received a first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine in France.

The health authority said those adults should now receive a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

It comes after the European Medicines Agency said there is a "possible link" between the vaccine and "very rare" cases of severe blood clots.

It's also in line with the health authority's determination on March 19 that adults under the age of 55 should not receive the vaccine amid reports of rare but serious blood clots.

"The administration of a single dose of this (AstraZeneca) vaccine is insufficient to guarantee lasting effective protection," the health authority said, so they recommend an mRNA vaccine "within 12 weeks after the first injection."

"There are many arguments in favour of this strategy," it said, adding that it has been shown to be more effective than strictly identical injections in some studies.

The officials said that COVID-19 vaccines all target the same protein on the virus, making it possible to mix the vaccines.