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EU regulators recommend use of AstraZeneca COVID vaccine for adults in all age groups

Written by on 29/01/2021

EU drug regulators have announced AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine can be given to adults in all age groups in the bloc – the third jab cleared for use.

The AZ vaccine had an efficacy of around 60% in trials, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said.

The EMA advice comes after questions were raised in Germany over how effective the jab, developed with Oxford University, is in protecting older people.

Only 12% of those who took part in the trials were over 55 and they were enrolled later, so there has not been enough time to collate the results.

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On Thursday, a draft recommendation from Germany’s vaccination advisory committee said the AstraZeneca vaccine should currently only be given to people aged 18-64.

The EMA said there were not yet enough results for people over the age of 55 to determine how well the vaccine would work for this group.

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However, it said protection was expected and that the vaccine can be given to older people.

UK regulators acknowledged the limited data for older people when it cleared the jab last month for people over 18.

But Public Health England has said details on the immune response for those 65 and over had been “reassuring”.

A separate study testing the AstraZeneca vaccine in the US is still under way.

The vaccine is administered via two injections into the arm, the second 4-12 weeks after the first.

It comes amid a bitter wrangle between AstraZeneca and the EU over delayed supplies.

Brussels has hit out at AstraZeneca after the drug giant said it would reduce initial deliveries from 80 million doses to 31 million, blaming production problems.

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen has said the contract contained binding orders and the bloc has raised the threat of legal action to secure COVID-19 stocks.

The EMA has already authorised the Pfizer and Moderna jabs for all adults.

 Sky News

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