SWITZERLAND has made a shock move not to approve the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for use in its roll out of Covid jabs.
The decision makes it the only country in Europe not to authorise doses of the Oxford-produced jab for use. The Swiss medical regulator claimed there was a lack of data to reach conclusions on the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine. Approval of the jab had been widely expected by many in Switzerland.
SwissMedic said: “For the vaccine from AstraZeneca, the data available and evaluated to date are not yet sufficient for approval.
“In order to obtain additional data on safety, efficacy and quality, data from new studies are required.”
The move runs counter to the decision made by the European Union’s drug watchdog – which Switzerland is not a member – to green-light AstraZeneca’s Covid jab last week.
But there is a growing list of EU countries refusing to allow the use of the vaccine in older people.
France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Poland have all advised against use for people over a certain age.
SwissMedic said it will wait for further information from two clinical trials in North and South America before making a final decision.
It has vowed to move swiftly once the data is available.
Switzerland has approved the BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines for use.