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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.

Go deeper

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.

21 mins ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.