Dutch latest to limit AstraZeneca vaccine to under-65s

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The Netherlands on Thursday became the latest European country to limit AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine to people aged under 65, despite the EU approving it for all ages.

France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and other countries have so far put age limits on the vaccine, which was developed by the British-Swedish firm with Oxford University.

“Because the immune system starts to function less well with increasing age, the council considers the vaccine suitable for people up to the age of 65,” the Dutch Health Council said in a statement.

The council added that it “recommends that the first available doses of the vaccine from AstraZeneca be used in elderly people aged 60 to 65 years”.

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The vaccine’s efficacy in people aged over 55 was unclear because only a small number of that age took part in clinical trials, it added.

The age limit comes despite the fact that the Netherlands has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Europe after starting its vaccination programme later than any other EU country.

The European Medicines Agency, the EU’s drug regulator, backed the AstraZeneca vaccine last Friday for all ages despite the lack of data for older people, saying that the bloc’s countries needed to “have these options available to them”.

Britain has meanwhile used the vaccine on all ages.

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Dutch latest to limit AstraZeneca vaccine to under-65s (2021, February 4)
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