Experts in South Korea have a similar view to that of the advisory panel urging caution over administering AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to people older than 65.
One expert says the reason why the Korean FDA committee postponed giving a decision, is partly because many countries have decided not to allow its use on that age group.

“For instance, Germany, France, Italy, Swiss, Australia,… many countries are not allowing the use that kind of vaccine in age 65 and above. That’s why the Korean FDA is somewhat refraining from this decision of using in elderly population.”

Another expert also said it cannot be administered until it’s clinically proven to be safe.

“For Astrazeneca’s case, they haven’t produced any results for efficacy and safety,… well they’ve made some safety issues but for efficacy, they haven’t made a results of people of age 65 of age. Believe many nations worldwide have postponed the use of Astrazeneca’s vaccination on people of elderly ages because of that issue. I think it’ll be the same in or case as well.”

Another expert says, since the oldest patients have the highest risk of fatality and they are the first targets for protection, waiting longer and for further data is the right way to go.

Meanwhile, regarding South Korea conditionally approving Celltrion’s COVID-19 treatment candidate, another expert says the data shows that it’s safe but the efficacy levels are not as convincing.

“Monoclonal antibody treatments seem to work fast when they are very very early on,… the protocol, the study protocol also the clinical indication is still up in the air. And that’s why they cannot give it a full approval.”

She added that her biggest concern is if the South African variant, UK variant the Brazil variants become dominant in Korea, there is a high chance that the Celltrion treatment will be ineffective.
Eum Jiyoung, Arirang News.

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