France’s first doses of the Pfizer BioNTech coronavirus vaccine were delivered to the central pharmacy of the Paris hospital system outside the capital early Saturday, according to an AFP journalist.
After more than 62,000 deaths from Covid-19 in France, recordings with people in two nursing homes are set to start on Sunday, the same day the rest of the EU starts injections.
A refrigerator truck brought the 19,500 cans from the Pfizer plant in Puurs in northeast Belgium to Paris, the capital’s APHP hospital authority announced. Pharmacy boss Franck Huet called this a “historic” moment of the pandemic.
After repackaging in Paris, the vaccines will be delivered to a long-term care unit in a hospital in Sevran outside the capital and to a retirement home in Dijon in eastern France.
The first EU deliveries are made after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gave the Pfizer-BioNTech the green light on Monday and the French health authority HAS on Thursday.
Countries are particularly keen to start their vaccination campaigns as a new strain believed to represent more infectious spreads from the UK. A first case was identified in France on Friday.
However, large-scale vaccinations for residents and employees of the 7,000 nursing homes in France will not start until early 2021.
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