The European Medicines Agency has authorised the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for use in all adult age groups after days of doubt.
A month after it received approval in the UK, the EU’s regulator declared the vaccine safe for general use across the 27 member states.
The shot is the third Covid-19 vaccine given the green light by the EMA, after ones made by Pfizer and Moderna. Both were authorised for all adults.
There had been concerns that a lack of data about the effects of the vaccine on older people could put authorisation for those aged over 65 in doubt.
Earlier this week, a committee at Germany’s public health body, the Robert Koch Institute, said there was insufficient data to judge, and as a result it could only recommend using the vaccine on people aged 18 to 64. The final decision rests with the government, but it is likely to follow this advice.
In an interview with la Repubblica on Tuesday, AstraZeneca’s CEO, Pascal Soriot, said his company’s latest studies had shown “very strong antibody production against the virus in the elderly, similar to what we see in younger people”. The British prime minister, Boris Johnson, had also said he had confidence that the vaccine was safe and “produced an immune response in all age groups”.