If You're Over 65, You Shouldn't Get This New Vaccine, Experts Warn

German health officials are warning seniors to avoid this new COVID vaccine.

In the U.S., there are two approved COVID vaccines—one from Pfizer and another from Moderna—that are being administered to anyone over the age of 16 and 18, respectively. But, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) recommendation, early priority has gone to those over 75 because they are particularly vulnerable to suffering severe illness from COVID. Now, two new vaccines are on the horizon in the U.S.—one from Johnson & Johnson and another from AstraZeneca. The latter is already in use in the U.K. and half a dozen other countries. However, German officials just released a statement that they do not recommended the AstraZeneca vaccine for the most susceptible group—people over the age of 65. To see why seniors shouldn't take this vaccine, read on, and for more vaccine updates, check out The Grim COVID Rumor the White House Just Confirmed.

The AstraZeneca vaccine shouldn't be used for people over 65 yet, experts say.

A senior man wearing a face mask receives a COVID-19 vaccine from a health care worker
iStock

CNN reports that on Jan. 28, Germany's vaccine commission recommended that the AstraZeneca vaccine not be given to people over the age of 65, according to a statement from the German Interior Ministry. The statement cited a study done by the Standing Committee on Vaccination at Germany's Robert Koch Institute that found there was insufficient data on the efficacy of the vaccine for this specific age group. Under their advisement, the vaccine should only be offered to people between the ages of 18 and 65. And for more up-to-date COVID news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

AstraZeneca didn't include enough seniors in its initial clinical trials.

Doctor preparing COVID vaccine
Shutterstock

Germany's health ministry expressed concern that not enough seniors were included in the initial AstraZeneca vaccine trial to consider it safe and effective for that population. According to The GuardianJens Spahn, Germany's Federal Minister of Health, said in a statement, "It has been known since the autumn that fewer seniors were included in the trials supplied by AstraZeneca than the trials of other manufacturers." Without comprehensive trial data on people over 65, experts are concerned about how the vaccine will affect that population. And for more vaccine precautions you should take, check out why Dr. Fauci Says Doing This After Getting Vaccinated Is a Huge Mistake.

AstraZeneca's vaccine has a lower efficacy rate than Pfizer's and Moderna's.

Vials of COVID-19 vaccine sitting in a row.
iStock

The AstraZeneca vaccine is already being widely used abroad, but there have been a few instances that put its efficacy into question. According to the Australian Broadcasting Company, the average efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine during trials was around 7o percent, considerably lower than Pfizer and Moderna, which both boast efficacy rates close to 95 percent. For another vaccine update from one of those companies, find out why The Moderna CEO Just Made This Scary Prediction About COVID.

The AstraZeneca vaccine will likely be up for approval in the U.S. in the spring.

Side view of doctor preparing vaccine syringe to inject on young patient.
ArtistGNDphotography / iStock

AstraZeneca will likely not be able to apply for approval for its vaccine in the U.S. until the spring, Business Insider reports. During the original trial, a portion of participants over the age of 55 were mistakenly given a half-dose for their first shot. Due to this error, AstraZeneca is waiting for the results of a larger U.S.-based trial to present information to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Enrollment in AstraZeneca's 30,000 person U.S. trial began in September and Phase 3 is currently underway. The results of that trial will hopefully prove the vaccine's efficaciousness for those over 65.

After getting the okay from the FDA, the vaccine will also have to be approved by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which means we likely won't see this vaccine in the U.S. until the summer at the earliest. To see which side effects could come with your second dose, check out Dr. Fauci Says He Had These Side Effects From His Second Vaccine Dose.

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Allie Hogan
Allie Hogan is a Brooklyn based writer currently working on her first novel. Read more
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