AstraZeneca’s vaccine had a bad rap from the start. It should not be used in older people, and many younger people let their vaccination appointments pass unused. Now the Standing Vaccination Commission has revised its recommendations after just a few weeks. In the future, people aged 65 and over in Germany will also be vaccinated with the drug. How can this step be explained? And how well does the vaccine actually protect? The most important questions and answers at a glance.
Why was the vaccine only used in younger people at first?
After the approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) based at the Robert Koch Institute recommended that the agent initially only be used in people up to and including the age of 64 years. However, this was not because the vaccine failed in the elderly. Instead, there was a lack of data to show that the remedy also works reliably in this age group.
To test how well a vaccine protects against disease, the agent is injected into thousands of test people. Then it remains to be seen how many fall ill compared to a non-vaccinated control group.