On Tuesday, the main French health authority approved AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine for use, but advised against giving it to people over 65 years of age.
The decision corresponds to a previous ruling from Swedish authorities, but is contrary to the European Union, which last week approved the vaccine for adults of all ages.
The French HAS health authority also said that pharmacists would be allowed to administer the jabs produced by the Anglo-Swedish company.
Tuesday’s conditional support for the vaccine comes days after President Emmanuel Macron told reporters the vaccine was “almost ineffective for people over 65.”
Germany and Italy have also said that other vaccines should be given priority for the elderly.
The age conflict unites a line over a shortage of supplies from AstraZeneca that has forced the EU to recalibrate its vaccination strategy.
The European Commission said the company had been able to guarantee only 25 percent of the more than 100 million doses promised, but on Sunday officials said the number would be raised to 40 million.
Unlike vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna, those manufactured by AstraZeneca can be stored for a long time in standard refrigeration units.
However, the effect is reported to be only 60 percent, compared with more than 90 percent for the previously competing coronavirus vaccines.