Germany recommends AstraZeneca vaccine for only those under 65

4 weeks ago
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Jan. 28 (UPI) — German public health officials recommended the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, but said it should be given only to people under age 65.

The country’s health agency, the Robert Koch Institute, said there’s not enough data to determine how effective the vaccine is for the elderly.

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Otherwise, the RKI’s Standing Committee on Vaccination said the British-Swedish-developed vaccine is “equally suitable” as the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which have been approved.

“Due to the small number of study participants in the age group ≥65 years, no conclusion can be made regarding efficacy and safety in the elderly,” the German Interior Ministry said. “This vaccine therefore is currently recommended by STIKO only for persons aged 18-64 years.”

AstraZeneca said the STIKO determination is “not an accurate reflection of the totality of the data.”

The RKI made the recommendation to the European Medicines Agency, which is expected to determine Friday whether to give approval for the AstraZeneca vaccine throughout the European Union.

The biopharmaceutical company, meanwhile, has warned the EU about manufacturing problems that could prevent it from being able to meet its promise of delivering all 100 million doses on order through March.

Facing similar shortages of the Pfzier-BioNTech vaccine, the European Commission said it may reject exports of the U.S.-developed vaccine from its plant in Belgium to Britain in an attempt to keep doses in the EU.

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