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AstraZeneca vaccine could come soon, but there’s one major issue

AstraZeneca got approval from European drug regulators. But there could be an age issue

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In this Jan. 2, 2021 file photo a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca is checked as they arrive at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, England. Denmark has suspended the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine due to blood clots

In this Jan. 2, 2021 file photo a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca is checked as they arrive at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, England. AstraZeneca got approval from European drug regulators. But there could be an age issue.

Gareth Fuller via Associated Press

The AstraZeneca vaccine recently received approval from European Union’s drug regulator for emergency use to help fight COVID-19, CNBC reports.

But it might have an age caveat for elderly citizens, according to The Associated Press.

What happened?

Germany’s health minister Jens Spahn said ahead of the vaccine’s approval that the vaccine might not be recommended for older adults because there’s a lack of data on its effectiveness with that population, according to The Associated Press.

  • Per The Associated Press, 12% of participants of the AstraZeneca study were over 55 years old and they were added to the study later on. The study did not have enough time to review data for elderly patients.

CNN reports that the Germany update has worried officials since the European Union is still vaccinating people 65 years and older with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

  • According to CNN, Dr. June Raine, chief executive of the U.K. medicines regulator, said data so far shows there has been “a strong immune response in the over-65s.”

AstraZeneca will be popular in Europe

The United Kingdom became the first country to approve AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca on Wednesday, as I wrote about for the Deseret News.

  • Per The New York Times, the vaccine was “a cheap and easy-to-store shot that much of the world will rely on to help end the pandemic.”

AstraZeneca said it will donate 8 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union, Reuters reports. However, the EU said that is still a low number “because it would still leave a large shortfall from what was originally expected,” according to Reuters.