UK regulators have received additional study data from AstraZeneca supporting their view that the COVID-19 vaccine developed with Oxford University is effective in the elderly, a vaccines official said Friday
The UK rolled out the shot in all ages after the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) approved it as the first regulator in December. However, some other European countries have stated that more data is required before being shared with the parents 65.
Munir Pirmohamed, chairman of the COVID-19 group of experts on risk-benefit risk of human medicines, said UK regulators had found lower numbers of under-65s in the data when the vaccine was approved.
“Still, there was no evidence (to suggest) that those 65 and over were not getting any evidence of effectiveness,” he said at an MHRA press conference that asked Reuters about the effectiveness of the shot in the elderly.
“Since then, more data has been received from AstraZeneca as more people complete the study. This again shows that efficacy is visible in the elderly and there is no evidence of lack of efficacy.”
He added that the elderly produce strong immune responses and that the most important thing is that both AstraZeneca’s vaccine and a shot developed by Pfizer and BioNTech prevent serious illness and death.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU had decided not to compromise on security as it defended the slower pace of approval of shots in the block.
When asked about the suggestion that the UK had compromised safety and effectiveness standards, MHRA Chief Executive June Raine defended the regulator’s standards.
“I think our position is very clear on the rigorous science that MHRA is pursuing for the sake of public trust, public safety and the effectiveness of these important vaccines,” she said.
Oxford University said Friday that it found its vaccine had similar efficacy against the variant first identified in Kent, southern England, as previously circulating strains.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)