Jan 29, 2021 - World

EU grants conditional approval of AstraZeneca vaccine

Picture of hands holding an AstraZeneca vial

Photo: Sunil Ghosh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The European Commission on Friday granted conditional approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people 18 years and older.

Why it matters: This is the third vaccine to receive approval from the commission, coming hours after the Emergency Medicines Agency recommended its authorization.

  • EMA said that the vaccine was found to be approximately 60% effective in its clinical trials, but added that there isn't enough data to show results for people older than 55.
  • The conditional marketing authorization granted by the European Commission means that all 27 EU members can use the shot, but AstraZeneca must submit more data "to confirm that the benefits continue to outweigh the risks."

The big picture: European leaders expect that initial supplies will be lower than anticipated and are pressuring AstraZeneca to offer doses produced in the U.K., Axios' Dave Lawler writes.

  • The EU has vaccinated just 2% of its population.
  • EMA's approval comes after Germany's health regulator announced that AstraZeneca's vaccine should not be given to people over 65.

What they're saying: "Securing safe vaccines for Europeans is our utmost priority. With the AstraZeneca vaccine now authorized, 400 million additional doses will be available in Europe," Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said.

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