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Monday, March 1, 2021

Switzerland won’t authorize Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, citing lack of data

Swiss regulators on Wednesday said they need more information before approving the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.

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“The data currently available do not point to a positive decision regarding benefits and risks,” Swissmedic wrote in a press release.

Instead, the agency wants to see data from ongoing large-scale human trials in the U.S. and South America.

The Swiss agency had been reviewing the vaccine under a rolling review process.

Last Friday, the European Medicines Agency recommended the vaccine for use in the EU. However, the jab has been plagued by concerns over its data. An increasing number of EU countries have decided not to use the vaccine in older people, citing a lack of data to support its efficacy.

Each country is making different age recommendations, however. Ireland, for example, sets a cut-off age at 70, while Belgium has it at 55.

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The EMA said there isn’t enough data to estimate the vaccine’s efficacy in people over the age of 55. But it did note that the jab generates an immune response in older people, and concluded there’s no reason to believe it can’t prevent COVID-19 in older populations.

Shawn Pogatchnik contributed reporting.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by WCT staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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