AstraZeneca – Poland, Italy elderly may avoid A-Z jab
Elderly people in Poland and Italy may not be given the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine because of uncertainty over its effectiveness.
A government health official in Poland on Monday said the nation was unlikely to inoculate senior citizens with the British-Swedish company’s vaccine.
It comes a day after Italy’s medicines agency recommended the use of the vaccine but only for people aged between 18 and 55.
The agency Aifa said the drug could strengthen the vaccination campaign in Italy, but the data so far had shown a “degree of uncertainty” about how effective it was for people above 55.
In recent days, Germany’s Robert Koch Institute for disease control said the data currently available is not sufficient to recommend AstraZeneca‘s vaccine for use among older patients.
This part of the population has been poorly represented in studies so far, although a good antibody response was still observed.
In Poland, the final decision on how to use the vaccine will be made upon the recommendation of a medical advisory board to the prime minister.
The country has so far vaccinated 94 per cent of its doctors and 80 per cent of nursing home residents.
South Africa’s government intends to inoculate 40 million people, representing 67 per cent of the country’s population of 60 million, by the end of the year.
And in the UK, authorities are seeking to urgently test 80,000 people in England after it emerged that the South African strain of the virus may have spread in some regions.
Health officials said 11 people had been identified over the last five or six days who have tested positive for the variant, but who have no links to travel.
– with PA