Days after AstraZeneca’s public row with the European Union over distribution shortfalls of its vaccine, the pharmaceutical giant finds itself at the center of a new storm. The company is now defending itself over accusations by European governments that the anti-COVID-19 jab may not be effective against elderly populations.
France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Austria and Poland have all restricted the AstraZeneca vaccine in older groups, despite the European Medicines Agency recommending it for adults of all ages.
Their reticence follows two German newspaper articles published last month suggesting the jab had an efficacy rate of just 8 percent for the elderly.
AstraZeneca has issued a robust defense, calling the reports “completely incorrect,” while independent scientists have pointed out there is no evidence of a lack of efficacy, rather that fewer than 10 percent of volunteers tested in the Oxford-AstraZeneca trials were aged 65 and older.