Earlier today, the European Medicines Agency gave the go-ahead for the AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to adults over the age of 18, as it was deemed effective and safe enough. The European Commission is set to formally give its approval for a conditional market authorization later today. This makes the Oxford vaccine the third one to be approved by the EMA, the first being the Pfizer-BioNTech one followed by the Moderna vaccine.
The executive director of the EMA, Emer Cooke, remarked that “With EMA’s recommendation today, we are further expanding the range of COVID-19 available to EU and EEA member states to bring the pandemic under control and protect their citizens.” This vaccine is also considered as pivotal to vaccination efforts thanks to its lower cost of production along with its ability to be stored at a fridge temperature.
This news comes not long after the controversial way that AstraZeneca was featured in the news, as the news broke out on Thursday that Germany’s vaccine commission proclaimed that they did not recommend the vaccine to people over 65, as the information on the vaccine’s effectiveness on that age bracket was deemed not satisfactory enough.
Furthermore, the Oxford producers also made headlines recently when they announced that the supply of vaccines reserved for Europe was going to be smaller than initially expected because of a reduced production rate at their manufacturing sites. The European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides expressed her great dissatisfaction at the announcement during a vaccines committee meeting. On Twitter, she said “The European Commission will continue to insist with AstraZeneca on measures to increase predictability and stability of deliveries, and acceleration of the distribution of doses.”