AstraZeneca says reports of 8% coronavirus vaccine efficacy in seniors are ‘incorrect’

British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is refuting German media reports claiming its coronavirus vaccine has an eight per cent efficacy rate in seniors as “completely incorrect.”

“Reports that the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine efficacy is as low as 8 per cent in adults over 65 years are completely incorrect,” a spokesperson from AstraZeneca said in an emailed statement to Global News.

The pharmaceutical giant cited data published in the Lancet in November of 2020, which found older adults showed strong immune responses to the vaccine, “with 100 per cent of older adults generating spike-specific antibodies after the second dose.”

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German reports from local papers Handelsblatt and Bild emerged on Monday, alleging AstraZeneca’s vaccine had an efficacy as low as eight per cent in adults aged 65 and older, raising doubts that the German government would approve the product for that age demographic.

The Government of Canada puts adults over 60 at the top of its list of those “at risk of more severe disease or outcomes,” followed by those with chronic medical health conditions, immunocompromised and people living with obesity.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine has been authorized for emergency use in the U.K., as well as Argentina, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico and Morocco.

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine has yet to be approved in Canada, with the federal government saying that they were still waiting on additional data from the vaccine developers in December.

— More to come. 

© 2021 Reuters

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