The German vaccine commission STIKO announced on Thursday that it would only use AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine for those under 65, as there are not enough data on its effectiveness in older people.
The Panel of Scientific Experts said the vaccine, jointly developed with Oxford University, should only be used “for people aged 18 to 65 years based on available data”.
“There is currently insufficient data to assess the effectiveness of the vaccine for people aged 65 and over,” it said.
“Apart from this limitation, this vaccine is considered suitable for use as recommended by STIKO”.
AstraZeneca’s vaccine has not yet been approved for general use in the European Union, but the block’s drug agency, EMA, is ready to approve it on Friday.
STIKO has not detailed the data from clinical trials of the vaccine in the elderly, but two well-known German media outlets reported that effectiveness was less than 10 percent in those over 65.
The Wirtschaftsblatt-Wirtschaftszeitung reported on Monday that Berlin had estimated the effectiveness of the sting for over 65-year-olds, citing unnamed sources, at only eight percent.
Independently of this, the daily Bild newspaper, citing anonymous sources, said the effectiveness rate was “less than 10 percent”.
The reports were resolutely rejected by both AstraZeneca and the German Ministry of Health.
“A false claim will not come true just because it is repeated,” said a spokesman for the German Ministry of Health on Wednesday, rejecting the reports.
It is known that fewer older people were involved in the AstraZeneca studies than in other manufacturers.
“The fact that the effectiveness is only eight percent is incomprehensible and in our opinion wrong,” he added.
Aside from questions about the vaccine’s effectiveness in the elderly, AstraZeneca is currently embroiled in a number with the European Union after it was revealed it can deliver only a quarter of the doses promised for the first quarter of 2021.
The managing director of the pharmaceutical giant, Pascal Soriot, said in an interview on Tuesday that his company is prioritizing deliveries to the UK, which signed its contract three months before the EU.
He argued that the company had to make “best efforts” to supply the block.
The European Commission, in a rage, on Wednesday called on the Anglo-Swedish company to make up for delays by shipping cans from its UK factories.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)