İrem UZUN -TDO- Germany's vaccine committee recommended only using the AstraZeneca/University of Oxford coronavirus vaccine on those between 18 and 64 years of age, according to wire service reports. "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. But honestly, it is fine. There's not enough vaccines for everybody. So if they want to use another vaccine for older people and our vaccine for younger people, what´s the problem," AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soirot said.
The UK has been using the AstraZeneca vaccine in its mass immunization program for weeks now, and public health officials say it is safe and provides "high levels of protection". The German announcement comes as the EU is in dispute with leading manufacturers over a shortage of vaccines on the continent. UK-based AstraZeneca has said production issues at its Europe-based plants mean it will be unable to deliver the promised number of doses to the bloc. But the EU says the firm must honor its commitments and deliver the jabs by diverting stock from the UK. It is calling for "robust action" to secure the supply.
AstraZeneca's vaccine has been authorized for emergency use in seven countries - the UK, India, Argentina, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico and Morocco - for the immunization of adults. It isn't yet authorized for use in Germany or other EU countries. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected to make a decision on whether to approve the vaccine on Friday.