WHO experts endorse AstraZeneca vaccine for those over 65

The World Health Organization (WHO) endorsed the use of the AstraZeneca against him coronavirus for people over 65 years of age, despite previous doubts about its effectiveness.

“The vaccine can be administered from 18 years of age, without a maximum age limit, so it can also be administered to people over 65 years of age,” said the Mexican Alejandro Cravioto, chair of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), at a press conference organized by the WHO.

The expert acknowledged that in the clinical trials of this vaccine, developed by the Swedish-British pharmaceutical company together with the University of Oxford, there was a minority participation of people over 65 years of age, which could contribute to doubts about its efficacy in this age group. , but SAGE analyzes conclude that “The results in these people are not different from those of the younger groups.”

Spain prohibited the application of AstraZeneca for those over 55 years of age. Photo: EFE

The announcement came after several European countries decided not to apply the vaccine to those over 65 years of age due to the lack of information on its effectiveness and safety.

The vaccine, that the UK It was the first to administer en masse in December, it was already approved by other countries and by the European Union.

But, due to the lack of data on its efficacy in the older population, some governments decided to recommend its use for people under 65, or even 55, like Spain.

Spain aligned itself with other countries like Belgium and Italy, which set the same limit for applying the AstraZeneca vaccine. The application to people up to 55 years of age was the criterion adopted by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). However, countries like Germany or France decided to vaccinate citizens up to 65 years of age.

AstraZeneca’s initial trials were conducted in people between 18 and 55 years old, and only months later, others between 56 and 69 years old were incorporated, so its efficacy in the latter group was considered by some agencies as not tested with the necessary robustness.

However, the scientific community insists that this does not mean that this vaccine is not safe, but that more trials are needed to show that it is effective in those over 55 years of age.

Argentina is expected to receive 1.2 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine between February and March. Before the end of the month, 580 thousand doses would arrive, while in March the rest will arrive.

This item is additional to the 22.4 million doses that the Government agreed with AstraZeneca. It should be remembered that the country participates in the preparation of the vaccine. Here the production process begins, which is completed in Mexico, where the vaccine is divided and packaged.

LGP

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