In a momentous move, the WHO has recommended that the AZ vaccine be given to the over 65s. At a press conference today, experts acknowledged that while only a small number of older participants had been used in trials, there was good evidence that the vaccine would be equally effective across all age groups.

The WHO has also followed Britain in advising that two doses of the AZ jab should be given eight to 12 weeks apart, and has recommended that countries with the South Africa variant should still deploy the vaccine, which was likely to prevent hospitalisations and deaths.

Germany, France, Spain and Sweden are among the countries that have refused to give the jab to older people. The WHO verdict is a rebuke to French President Emmanuel Macron who claimed the AZ vaccine was “quasi-ineffective”. The announcement should encourage these nations to ditch the over-65 restriction and get jabbing.