The European Union’s regulators have authorized the administration of Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for all adults residing in the EU, amid criticisms that the bloc has been receiving because of being slow in inoculating its population.
In its decision on Friday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it has consented to the utilization of the COVID-19 shot for people age 18 years and above despite concerns regarding the lack of data about the vaccine’s effectiveness in older people.
A German vaccine advisory committee has voiced out its concerns due to the limited knowledge that the pharmaceutical firm provided about the vaccine’s efficacy among adults, indicating that only 6 percent of the clinical trial participants could be considered as elderly.
“There are not yet enough results in older participants (over 55 years old) to provide a figure for how well the vaccine will work in this group,” the regulator said in a press briefing on Friday. However, it claimed that “protection is expected, given that an immune response is seen in this age group and based on experience with other vaccines.”
“EMA’s scientific experts considered that the vaccine can be used in older adults,” it added.
Pascal Soriot, the chief executive of England-based AstraZeneca, said that he welcomes the regulator’s decision.
“Today’s recommendation underscores the value of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine which is not only effective and well-tolerated, but also easy to administer and, importantly, protects fully against severe disease and hospitalizations,” Soriot said in a statement.
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