Coronavirus

AstraZeneca: vaccine particularly effective in the elderly

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JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP via Getty Images

The corona vaccine from the British company AstraZeneca is only approved for people up to 65 years of age in Germany due to a lack of data on its effectiveness. The associated bad reputation of the vaccine could be unfounded. This is now shown by new data from England.

Real data collected and evaluated there show that the vaccine is more effective than the drug from Biontech / Pfizer, especially in the age group over 65 years of age. According to this, the risk of a severe course of the disease should be reduced by 90 percent after the first dose. The “Bild” had reported about it.

Data from the Scottish Ministry of Health also confirm this picture. They were collected between December 8, 2020 and February 15, 2021, when 1.14 million people were vaccinated. The hospitalization rate with the Biontech vaccine is reduced by 85 percent, with the vaccine from AstraZeneca by as much as 94 percent.

Standing vaccination commission wants to change AstraZeneca’s recommendation

“It would have been good to have known about the approval”, pharmacologist Prof. Theo Dingermann of “Bild” wrote. It was not a bad vaccine, but the sparse data available at the time of the approval process meant that the public image of the vaccine was distorted. One consequence: the federal states remain sitting on the big Menden of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Now the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) wants to change its recommendation for the AstraZeneca vaccine. Stiko boss Thomas Mertens announced that “a new, updated recommendation will be made very soon”. Means: Then a recommendation could also be made for people over 65 years of age. “We never criticized the vaccine. We only criticized the fact that the data situation for the age group over 65 was not good or not sufficient, ”said the Stiko boss. Otherwise the vaccine is “very good”.

Lauterbach advocates expanding corona testing

Another effective vaccine for the risk group over 65 years of age would also help with the current openings. In the end, said SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach via Twitter, would currently be two trains on top of each other. Lauterbach means on the one hand the third corona wave, which can no longer be stopped because of the spread of the B117 mutation, and on the other hand the required openings.

Lauterbach’s proposal: an immediate change in the vaccination strategy by bringing forward the first vaccination of all vaccines. The first vaccination prevents more than 80 percent hospitalization, writes Lauterbach. In connection with this, he recommends expanding the tests. In his opinion, antigen tests should be carried out once a week in companies and schools. “On the day of the test, you can go into stores with the certificate,” Lauterbach continues. Those who cannot be tested in school or at work should go to a test center.

This should be expanded to two tests per week if there are enough antigen tests. Then you can go to the shops in two days. With this strategy, according to Lauterbach, the R value drops to below 1 even with the B117 mutation.

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