German health ministry dismisses claims about AstraZeneca vaccine efficacy
The German health ministry has moved to refute speculation about the effectiveness of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine in older people.
In a statement on Tuesday, it said there was no data suggesting an efficacy of only 8% among people aged over 65, as had previously been reported by some German media outlets.
Instead it said a study of the vaccine - which has been jointly developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University - had been misread, and that the 8% figure referred instead to the number of people in the study aged between 56 and 69 years.
"At first glance it seems that two things were confused in the reports: around 8% of the subjects in the AstraZeneca effectiveness study were between 56 and 69 years, only 3% to 4% over 70 years. However, this does not indicate efficacy of only 8% among older people," The Express quoted the ministry as saying.
It also reiterated that it expected the European Medicines Agency to decide on Friday whether or not to approve the vaccine, according to Reuters.
AstraZeneca has already stated that the reports are "completely incorrect".