Outcomes from 4 medical trials confirmed that the jab was “protected and efficient” at stopping Covid-19, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) mentioned in its suggestion.
The EMA mentioned its scientific specialists thought-about that the vaccine can be utilized for the aged regardless of the current row over its effectiveness in over-65s.
On Thursday, Germany’s vaccine committee mentioned a scarcity of adequate information meant the jab ought to solely be given to individuals aged between 18 and 64, amid an ongoing dispute over the supply of provides agreed in a contract between the EU and the UK-based pharmaceutical firm. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, described the Oxford jab as “quasi-ineffective” in these over 65.
The European Fee confirmed on Friday afternoon that it was imposing export controls on vaccines made within the bloc after AstraZeneca sharply decreased its preliminary deliveries of 80 million doses to 31 million doses by the tip of March.
Underneath the EU’s measure, member states will be capable to block the export of vaccines made of their international locations – together with provides of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab produced in Belgium.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is the third to be accredited to be used within the EU, following related selections on these made by Pfizer and Moderna.
“With this third constructive opinion, we’ve additional expanded the arsenal of vaccines out there to EU and EEA member states to fight the pandemic and shield their residents,” mentioned Emer Cooke, govt director of the EMA.
“As in earlier instances, the Committee for Medicinal Merchandise for Human Use has rigorously evaluated this vaccine, and the scientific foundation of our work underpins our agency dedication to safeguard the well being of EU residents.”
Whereas “there should not but sufficient ends in older contributors (over 55 years outdated) to offer a determine for the way effectively the vaccine will work on this group”, the EMA added that “safety is anticipated, provided that an immune response is seen on this age group, and based mostly on expertise with different vaccines”.
The EU has ordered 300 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is cheaper and simpler to deal with than another vaccines, with choices for an extra 100 million doses.
Professor Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, which developed the vaccine along with AstraZeneca, welcomed the EU approval.
“The advice by the European Medicines Company is a crucial milestone in extending entry to the Oxford/ AstraZeneca vaccine in our area and offering additional endorsement that, after the rigorous scrutiny of regulators, the vaccine can be utilized to assist shield populations from the coronavirus pandemic,” he mentioned in a press release.
The well being secretary, Matt Hancock, wrote on Twitter: “Excellent news that the EMA have accredited the usage of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for all adults, on an up-to-12-week dosing schedule. British science and international collaboration is saving lives.”