Three European countries of Sweden, France and Germany have decided not to use AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for people over 65. This decision was made due to the lack of data available about its effectiveness in elderly people.
According to a report by Germany’s Standing Vaccination Commission, the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is only effective 8% in people over 65.
Health authorities in Germany then raised concerns that AstraZeneca didn’t test the vaccine in enough older people to prove it works for them, and indicated they would not recommend it for people over 65.
Following the lead of Germany, on Feb 2, 2021 the Swedish and French national authority for health recommended not to use AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for people over the age of 65.
This decision was made due to the lack of data available about its effectiveness in elderly people.
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Authorities in France and Sweden say the vaccine should not be prioritized for people over the age of 65, both citing insufficient clinical trial data for older people.
France had considered AstraZeneca’s vaccine for the mass drive but the question of putting the jab for the elderly people staying in nursing homes and people over 75 has posed a far greater challenge.
AstraZeneca has announced delay in supply of this vaccine in most of the European countries and the world following certain clinical trials glitch.
On Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron told TF1 television:
“For this AstraZeneca vaccine, we will not propose it to those older than 65“.
Instead, the vaccine the British-Swedish company developed with Oxford University will be given to medical personnel under 65, individuals with health vulnerabilities or those facing high exposure, he said.
AstraZeneca states the vaccine is not safe for people over 65 without enough clinical trials in older people which raise concerns for health authorities in Germany and other countries as well.
The Swedish Public Health Agency said on Feb 2 2021:
“The European Medicines Agency (EMA) considers that Astra Zeneca’s vaccine is safe to use and provides a good immune response. However, there is still no data on how effective the vaccine is in protecting against severe covid-19 disease in the older age groups.”
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