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EU orders raid of AstraZeneca vaccine plant in Belgium

Christian Fernsby |
Belgian regulators carried out an inspection of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine production site near Brussels at the behest of the European Commission.

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During the inspection ordered by the European Union’s executive branch, samples and records were taken from the Novasep factory, in the town of Seneffe, outside Brussels, to be analyzed by officials from Belgium’s Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAGG).

The inspection marks an escalation in the ongoing row between the bloc and the pharmaceutical company over COVID-19 vaccine delivery delays to member states. The FAGG confirmed on Thursday that the commission had requested an inspection of production flows.

Germany has warned against giving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged over 65 in a surprise recommendation.

Scientists on the German health ministry’s vaccine committee announced on Thursday, local time, that the jab should not be given to older age groups, citing a lack of trial data.

The committee did not find the vaccine unsafe – only that there was not enough information available to determine its efficacy in older groups.

“There are currently insufficient data available to assess the vaccine efficacy from 65 years of age,” the committee said in its draft decision.

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