German panel keeps advice against AstraZeneca jabs for over-65s

29 January 2021

Germany’s vaccine commission on Friday maintained its advice against using AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccines on older people, despite the EU regulator’s decision to authorise it for all adults in the bloc over 18 years old.

“Because of currently available data, the Covid-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca is recommended only for people aged 18 to 64 years old,” said the commission in its updated version of its advice.

“The reason is because there is currently insufficient data on the effectiveness of the vaccines on people above 65 years old,” said the commission known as STIKO.

The advice by the panel of medical experts will be taken into account by the government as it officially draws up its decree on usage of the vaccine.

The restriction recommended by STIKO has raised a debate in Germany over whether there needs to be a change in the order of who gets vaccinated first.

The country is currently prioritising older age groups, but questions have been raised about whether AstraZeneca’s jabs should immediately be offered to workers in essential jobs, such as teachers and police officers.

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