French health authority advises against use of Valneva's COVID-19 vaccine

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 French health authority advises against use of Valneva's COVID-19 vaccine
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By Jean-Stéphane Brosse and Tassilo Hummel

PARIS, Dec 8 (Reuters) - France's Haute Autorite de Sante public health body advised the government not to use Valneva's VLA2001 COVID-19 vaccine as part of its wider vaccination strategy, although two rival products should be included as booster shots.

The snub caused Valneva's shares to fall, with Valneva down by around 1% during the late morning trading session in Paris.

The HAS body recommended Sanofi and GSK's VidPrevtyn Beta and Novavax's Nuvaxovid shots to boost the vaccination of people who can not be given bivalent mRNA vaccines which shall remain the first choice, it said.

"However, the HAS does not include the use of Valneva's VLA2001 vaccine in the current primary vaccination strategy", it added.

Valneva, whose shares have been volatile in recent months, has won regulatory approval in the European Union and some other countries for its first-generation COVID-19 vaccine, but was recently forced to cut its financial guidance and slash jobs in light of low order levels.

"There are no clinical efficacy or immunological data about the current variants. Therefore, it has not been retained for the time being," Elisabeth Bouvet, president of the HAS' vaccination department, told a news conference. (Reporting by Jean-Stephane Brosse and Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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