The Bild Zeitung newspaper and the business daily Handelsblatt claimed on January 25 evening that the German government had doubts about the effectiveness of AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine, developed with the University of Oxford, on people over the age of 65 years.

According to Handelsblatt, who refers to government sources, Berlin expects an efficiency of 8% for this age group.

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An ineffective vaccine on the elderly?

The AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine is expected to receive the EU regulatory green light on January 29. Yet Bild Zeitung, also under cover of government sources, writes that Angela Merkel’s coalition expects it not to be approved for those over 65. This would have a significant impact on the vaccination strategy of many countries.

Speaking on January 26 in the morning show of the public channel ZDF, German Minister of Health Jens Spahn said that Berlin will make its decision next week on the basis of scientific data making it possible to say “which age groups will receive this vaccine first “.

The British laboratory, whose vaccine is already authorized and widely deployed in the United Kingdom, defended itself in a statement. He explains that he published scientific data in the journal The Lancet in November, “showing that the elderly have shown strong immune responses to the vaccine, 100% of them having generated specific antibodies after the second dose”.

Delivery delays

AstraZeneca was the subject of a call to order from the European Commission on January 25. The laboratory announced last week that deliveries of its Covid vaccine would be lower than expected in the first quarter due to a “drop in yield” at a European manufacturing site.

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Brussels deemed these delivery delays “unacceptable” and now demanded “transparency” on the export outside the EU of the doses produced there.