The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine for a conditional marketing authorisation in the EU, it announced on Friday.
The vaccine has been approved without any additional conditions for all age groups over 18 years old, despite the recent doubts over its effectiveness for people over 65.
AstraZeneca's is the third vaccine, after those of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, that can now be administered in the European Union.
The EMA stated that there are not yet enough test results to determine a protection level for the group of people over 55. However, "based on what we know of other vaccines and the current test results, we expect protection in this target group as well," it said.
"There is reliable information on its safety. Our experts believe that the vaccine can be used in older adults. More information is expected from ongoing studies with more elderly participants," EMA said, emphasising that the effects of the vaccine will continue to be monitored.
“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.
“As in previous cases, the CHMP has rigorously evaluated this vaccine, and the scientific basis of our work underpins our firm commitment to safeguard the health of EU citizens," she added.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is administered as two injections into the arm, the second between 4 and 12 weeks after the first one. The most common side effects were usually mild or moderate and got better within a few days after vaccination.
The European Commission still has to approve the use of the vaccine.
The Brussels Times