Germany’s officials advise AstraZeneca jabs to be given to people only under 65
Germany’s vaccine commission said the AstraZeneca vaccine should not be given to people older than 65 years, amid a dispute between European Union and drugmakers over delayed supply.
AstraZeneca and the vaccine’s developers have consistently said it is safe for use on older adults, and Public Health England said on Thursday that the vaccine provided reassuring immune responses in older people even if data on the precise level of protection was patchy. “Due to the small number of study participants in the age group ≥65 years, no conclusion can be made regarding efficacy and safety in the elderly hence the vaccine is only recommended for the age group below 65,” said the German Panel.
“Essentially, because Oxford started vaccinating older people later, we don’t have a huge number of older people who have been vaccinated. So that’s what the debate is,” AstraZeneca’s chief executive said. “But we have strong data showing very strong antibody production against the virus in the elderly, similar to what we see in younger people. It’s possible that some countries, out of caution, will use our vaccine for the younger group.”