France, Sweden, Poland, Germany, France: Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine Not for Elderly
Only for those who don't need it
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine should be prioritized for people younger than 65, according to recommendations by government advisory bodies in France and Sweden on Tuesday, while Poland set its threshold at 60.
“Currently available data for people aged 65 and over are limited by a small sample size and don’t allow for a conclusion on the safety and the efficacy of the [AstraZeneca] vaccine for this population,” the French national authority for health (HAS) said. “The [AstraZeneca] vaccine is therefore recommended preferentially for health professionals under 65 and people under 65.”
On Friday, President Emmanuel Macron referred to the AstraZeneca vaccine as “quasi-ineffective” on people aged over 65.
“We will revisit our advice when we have further data,” said HAS President Dominique Le Guludec, adding this is expected in a few weeks. The HAS also opened the door for pharmacists and midwives to be allowed to vaccinate, given the easier storage requirements with temperature.
Sweden’s public health agency also recommended against vaccinating people over 65 with the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab. And in Poland, the vaccine will only be used for people aged 18-60, said Michał Dworczyk, an aide to the prime minister.
Last Thursday, Germany’s advisory vaccination commission was the first to recommend that the vaccine be given to people under 65, pushing the country to revisit its vaccination schedule to provide different age groups with appropriate vaccines.
On Saturday, Italy proved even more cautious, recommending the use of the vaccine to people younger than 55.
Controversy has marked the jab’s roll-out, as the EU and the British-Swedish company feuded over contract terms and late deliveries.