By Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
In the university hospital of Brest in Brittany, during the first week of the vaccine rollout, 20 to 25 percent of the recipients of the vaccine had to stop work because of influenza symptoms including bad headaches, high fever and sore muscles
February 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – The AstraZeneca experimental COVID-19 vaccine currently being given to health workers in France has caused so many side-effects that the French vaccination task force (Conseil d’orientation de la stratégie vaccinale) has recommended “a staggering of the vaccination schedule for people working in the same care unit” as well as “the systematic intake of paracetamol just before the injection and in the two following days.”
The vaccine was developed by Oxford University together with the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca by cultivating the weakened SARS-CoV-2 virus in the HEK-293 cell line derived from the kidney of an aborted baby. According to the Oxford Vaccine Centre, these weakened viruses “are purified several times to remove the cell culture material,” adding that “this makes it unlikely that any human material remains in the final vaccine.” “Unlikely”, it is worth noting, does not mean “impossible.”
The French restrictions on the AstraZeneca jab follow a series of undesirable incidents registered in several hospitals in different parts of the country where personnel were being massively inoculated from the start of the campaign on February 5. These were so numerous that the hospitals were finding themselves facing personnel shortages in ICU and COVID-19 units. In one hospital, half of the physiotherapists were on sick leave at the same time after having received the vaccine.
In the most western town of France, the university hospital of Brest in Brittany was particularly hard hit. During the first week of the campaign between 20 to 25 percent of the recipients of the vaccine had to stop work because of influenza symptoms including bad headaches, high fever and sore muscles. The hospital authorities subsequently took the decision to stop vaccinations.