No data suggesting lower efficacy of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine: German health ministry

AstraZeneca denied its vaccine was not very effective for people over 65. PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN (REUTERS) - There is no data that would suggest efficacy of only 8 per cent among older people for AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine, the German Health Ministry said on Tuesday (Jan 26) in response to corresponding media reports.

It reiterated that it expects the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to decide on Friday whether to approve the vaccine.

AstraZeneca denied on Monday (Jan 25) its vaccine was not very effective for people over 65, after German media reports said officials fear the vaccine might not be approved in the European Union for use in the elderly.

German daily papers Handelsblatt and Bild said in separate reports that the vaccine - co-developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University - had an efficacy of 8 per cent or less than 10 per cent, respectively, in those over 65.

German officials were concerned that the vaccine might not receive approval from the EMA for use in those over 65, Bild said in its online edition.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Tuesday European authorities will, this week, base a decision on whether to approve the vaccine on available data, declining to comment on the German media reports.

Mr Spahn also told ZDF television on Tuesday it was encouraging that the number of new coronavirus cases was falling in Germany.

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