Swedish health officials won’t recommend AstraZeneca vaccine for people over 65

Swedish health officials are not recommending people over the age of 65 receive AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.

“The European Medicines Agency (EMA) considers that Astra Zeneca’s vaccine is safe to use and provides a good immune response,” the Swedish Public Health Agency said in a statement Tuesday. “However, there is still no data on how effective the vaccine is in protecting against severe covid-19 disease in the older age groups.” 

AstraZeneca’s vaccine is the third coronavirus vaccine to be approved by health officials in the country, in addition to vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. The country’s health agency on Tuesday said that Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines “are primarily recommended to be offered to people” who are over 65 years old.

Swedish health officials said they may recommend that individuals over 65 receive AstraZeneca’s vaccine pending the results of a clinical trial in the U.S. Those results are expected in the spring, according to the Tuesday statement.  

The AstraZeneca vaccine was approved for use in Sweden on Friday. 

Late last year, Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf told residents of the country in his annual Christmas address that Sweden’s original strategy, which was to largely resist nationwide lockdowns to slow the spread of COVID-19, had “failed.”

“We have a large number who have died and that is terrible. It is something we all have to suffer with,” he said.

The U.S. has not yet approved the AstraZeneca vaccine, although the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been rolled out across the country.  

Tags AstraZeneca Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic Sweden Vaccine

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