Germany will not approve Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for over-65s
The vaccine is already in use in the UK
Germany will not approve the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine for use by over-65s, according to a report in the Financial Times.
Public health authorities in Germany believe there is "insufficient data" to support its use in seniors.
A statement published by the country's leading public health body reiterated these claims. The Standing Vaccine Commission, part of the Robert Koch Institute, stated there was "insufficient data currently available to ascertain how effective the vaccination is above 65 years".
The Robert Koch Institute is a federal government agency responsible for research and control of diseases such as Covid-19.
Germany will still approve the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine, but only for those aged between 18 and 64.
Regarding vaccines manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, the Robert Kock Institute said they were "equivalent in terms of safety and efficacy".
— Matthew Garrahan (@MattGarrahan) January 28, 2021
The AstraZeneca vaccine is already in use in Britain, and is expected to be approved for use by the European Medical Agency on Friday.
Germany has seen 2.18 million cases of coronavirus since the pandemic first hit, with around 54,500 deaths being recorded. Worldwide, there have been 100 million cases of Covid-19 - and over two million people have died.
This isn't the first time this particular vaccine has come under scrutiny in Germany.
Previous reports - published last week in two leading newspapers - quoted sources within the German government who doubted the vaccine's efficacy in older adults.
These reports were subsequently rubbished by the German government and AstraZeneca. In a statement, the vaccine manufacturers said "Reports that the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine efficacy is as low as 8% in adults over 65 years are completely incorrect."
On Tuesday, the German health ministry said these previous reports were incorrect.
"It appears two things have been mixed up in the reports," read a statement.
"Around 8% of the volunteers in AstraZeneca's efficacy studies were between 56 and 69 years old and 3-4% are above 70 years old.
"However, this does not mean that it is effective only in 8% of older people."