Germany to limit Astra vaccine to under-65s
AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine should only be given to people aged between 18 and 64, Germany’s vaccine committee recommended on Thursday, a day ahead of a decision by European regulators on whether to approve the drugmaker’s shot.
The recommendation for Germany comes as the EU, which is scrambling for vaccine supplies, warned AstraZeneca to deliver shots as promised despite a shortfall in its first-quarter vaccine output caused by a glitch in its European supply chain.
“There are currently insufficient data available to assess the vaccine efficacy from 65 years of age,” the German committee, also known as STIKO, said in a draft recommendation.
The EU approved a vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech in late December and gave the green light to a shot made by Moderna in early January.
STIKO said that, apart from the age caveat for the AstraZeneca product, all three were equally suited for use.
Its assessment was based on the same trial data published by medical journal The Lancet on December 8. On Monday, the drugmaker denied that its Covid-19 vaccine is not very effective for people over 65, after German media reports said officials fear the vaccine may not be approved in the EU for use in the elderly.