AstraZeneca vaccine for the time being only for under 65 years old

The vaccine of the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca will continue to be vaccinated in Austria in the fight against the coronavirus for the time being only to those under 65 years of age. The Health Ministry made the announcement today, preceded by a recommendation from the National Vaccination Panel, which re-evaluated available data on the vaccine’s effectiveness.

“This confirmed the recommendation currently in place,” the health ministry told APA. It added that the safety and immunogenicity data for the AstraZeneca vaccine were comparable in persons 65 years of age and older as in younger persons. However, the efficacy data would be based on smaller subject groups and fewer cases of disease in the study population.

“Based on very few cases of disease, therefore, reliable conclusions about the efficacy of this vaccine for people over 65 are not possible at this time,” it said.

Too little data in seniors
In principle, AstraZeneca’s vaccine is approved for people 18 years and older. However, the National Vaccine Panel had recommended in early February that only people up to the age of 65 be vaccinated with it because there were not yet sufficient data from clinical trials on its effectiveness in seniors.

This assessment has now been reaffirmed, although according to the Ministry of Health, the National Vaccination Panel assumes “that when further data are available – corresponding studies are currently underway in the USA and the United Kingdom, among other countries – an unqualified recommendation can be issued.”


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