International

Denmark & Norway to not give AstraZeneca to older people for the time being

Denmark and Norway will for the time being not use the Covid-19 vaccine developed by pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for the age group 65 years and older, dpa news yesterday said quoting national health authorities.

“It’s not because the vaccine is not effective for those who are older. It’s because the documentation is so limited,” said Camilla Stoltenberg, head of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

She told a press conference that AstraZeneca trials had few participants who were older than 65 years of age, “so there is no documentation for the effectiveness.”

The Danish Health Authority on Thursday issued a similar recommendation regarding the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in older age groups.

Neighbouring Sweden and Finland as well Germany are other countries that have made similar decisions, citing insufficient data from the British-Swedish company to assess the effectiveness of the vaccination in the age group.

Both Denmark and Norway also use two other approved vaccines developed by US-German venture Pfizer/BioNTech and US firm Moderna. These two vaccines would also be used for people under the age of 65 with serious underlying health conditions.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) last week recommended AstraZeneca’s vaccine for approval in the EU, stating it is safe to use and provides a good immune response.