EU medical regulator has approved AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people over 18, in a boost for the bloc and the business as an increasingly bitter battle between them over delivery shortages.
The European Medicines Agency backed the vaccine at a meeting on Friday, a day after Germany’s independent immunization advisory committee said it would only recommend its use for those under 65 because of a lack of data on its effectiveness for the elderly.
The vaccine is the third to be approved by the European regulator, after those developed by BioNTech / Pfizer and Moderna. It comes as the EU urges AstraZeneca to reverse a roughly three-quarter cut in planned deliveries of around 100 million doses that the European bloc originally expected from the company in the first three months of the year.
The AstraZeneca jab is a crucial part of plans in many countries in the EU and beyond as it is cheaper and requires less intense refrigeration than mRNA technology vaccines from BioNTech and Moderna. The European bloc has ordered 300 million doses of the drug AstraZeneca, with an option to take 100 million more.