European regulator gives green light for Astra-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Europe's medicines regulator on Friday approved AstraZeneca and Oxford University's COVID-19 vaccine for people over the age of 18, the third vaccine to be cleared for use in the European Union.

Reuters January 30, 2021 00:10:56 IST
European regulator gives green light for Astra-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine

European regulator gives green light for AstraOxford COVID19 vaccine

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Europe's medicines regulator on Friday approved AstraZeneca and Oxford University's COVID-19 vaccine for people over the age of 18, the third vaccine to be cleared for use in the European Union.

The AstraZeneca vaccine demonstrated an efficacy of around 60% in the trials on which the decision was based, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said in a statement https://bit.ly/3pwGYlx.

“With this third positive opinion, we have further expanded the arsenal of vaccines available to EU and EEA member states to combat the pandemic and protect their citizens,” said Emer Cooke, Executive Director of EMA.

Europe urgently needs more shots to speed up its inoculation programme with suppliers such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna facing difficulties in delivering the quantities promised for the early months of the year.

There were not yet enough results for people over the age of 55 to determine how well the vaccine would work for this group, EMA said. However, it said protection was expected and that the vaccine can be given to older people.

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot welcomed the decision.

"Today’s recommendation underscores the value of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine which is not only effective and well-tolerated, but also easy to administer and, importantly, protects fully against severe disease and hospitalisations," he said in a statement.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is administered via two injections into the arm, the second between 4 and 12 weeks after the first.

The European Union last year agreed to buy up to 400 million doses of the vaccine.

Concerns over its value for the elderly were raised on Thursday when Germany's vaccine committee said it should be given only to people aged between 18 and 64, due to a lack of data about how effective it is in older people.

(Writing by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru, Editing by Douglas Busvine, Keith Weir and Elaine Hardcastle)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.