German health officials have U-turned on the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and recommended it is safe for use on over-65s.
The German health ministry said on Thursday that its independent vaccine committee has now formally approved the COVID-19 jab for use in that age group.
It comes after disproved claims in Europe that the jab was as little as 8% effective among the elderly.
German health officials have also said that delaying the second dose of the Oxford jab by 12 weeks – as the UK is doing – increases its efficacy.
Health minister Jens Spahn said the change in position is “good news for older people who are waiting for a vaccination”. “They will get vaccinated faster,” he added.
Germany had previously claimed that there was not enough reliable efficacy data to allow the AstraZeneca jab to be used on the over-65s.
Other European countries followed, with French President Emmanuel Macron claiming it was “quasi-ineffective” on pensioners.
But this week, France U-turned on its decision and approved it for use on people aged between 65 and 74 with underlying health conditions.
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