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Vaxzevria (by AstraZeneca) has been wildly discussed mainly due to the ability to protect older people. However, any research study has not proved vaccine inefficiency in the elder people cohort.
Vaccine efficacy in the cohort over 65 years
European Medicines Agency (EMA) has been requesting to include at least 25 % of the over 65 population into the research studies of efficacy. AstraZeneca included only 6 %. Because of not observing this criterion, this fact about lack of the data for the cohort is stated commonly. Nevertheless, based on the experience with other vaccines, Vaxzevria is expected to at least partly protect the elder people cohort – the level of protection is a subject of discussion. Research studies examining the protection for elder people cohort are still in progress. Current results show that immunogenicity (ability to induce antibodies and cellular immune response) is not significantly different.
Newspaper articles are the reaction mostly on the lack of the data itself, not as the reaction on the data that would prove vaccine inefficacy in the discussed cohort.
Additional information about Vaxzevria
Current research studies have been dealing only with individuals 18 years and older. Youths are not recommended to get this vaccine until valid research data will be released.
The vaccination schedule consists of two separate doses. The second dose is scheduled between the 4th and 12th week after getting the first dose. The latest data shows that longer interval between the doses increases the quality of protection. Partial protection is formed approximately after 3 weeks from the first dose, complete protection is expected 2 weeks after the second dose.
Based on the statements of the Czech Vaccine Society and State Institute for Drug Control, the Ministry of Health published a press report on the 9th of June 2021 recommending vector vaccines (Vaxzevria and Janssen) only for individuals over 60 years.