Germany ‘won’t approve’ AstraZeneca vaccine for over-65s


The country’s vaccine committee has reportedly said the jab, developed alongside the University of Oxford, should only be offered to people aged between 18 and 64.

It gave a lack of sufficient data on the effectiveness of the inoculation in older people as the reason for the decision in a draft recommendation.

The European Medicines Agency is expected to approve the AstraZeneca vaccine for use in the 27-nation European Union on Friday.

It would be the third cleared for use in the EU after the BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

The pharmaceutical giant strongly refuted the claims in a written statement, saying “reports that the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine efficacy is as low as 8 per cent in adults over 65 years are completely incorrect”.

It also recently became embroiled in a row with the EU after it told the bloc the volume of its vaccine deliveries would be 60 per cent lower than initially promised for the first quarter of this year.

German health minister Jens Spahn stressed that the committee’s recommendation was not its final decision, and that this would only be made once the vaccine is cleared for use.

But he said there had been a discussion since autumn about there being “few data – this isn’t about bad data, but few data” in studies on the AstraZeneca vaccine’s effectiveness in older groups.

“It was to be expected that this would have an influence on the decision of the regulatory authorities and then the permanent vaccine commission,” Mr Spahn said.

“We just don’t know yet how concretely – so let’s wait for the decision tomorrow on clearance and then the final recommendation from the permanent vaccine commission.”

Additional reporting by AP


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