KATHMANDU: After German media outlets Bild and Handelsblatt, in separate reports, said that AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine is not very effective for people over 65, the company has firmly rejected the reports.

The Bild shared that the federal government expects that the vaccine from the Swedish-British manufacturer AstraZeneca will only receive approval from the EU drug agency EMA for people less than 65 years of age.

On the contrary, statement released by the company said that reports that AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine efficacy is as low as 8 percent in adults over 65 years are completely incorrect. It added that the data in 'The Lancet' - a leading medical journal - showed that older adults showed strong immune responses to the vaccine, with 100 percent of older adults generating spike-specific antibodies after the second dose.

According to Reuters sources, German Health Minister Jens Spahn was quoted saying, European authorities will this week base a decision on whether to approve AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine on available data. He declined further information sharing on vaccine's effectiveness on elderly citizens.

Spahn also told ZDF television on Tuesday that it was encouraging that the number of new coronavirus cases was falling in Germany.

Meanwhile, Nepal is all set to begin the Covid-19 vaccination drive from Wednesday. The India manufactured Covishield - also Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine which has been manufactured locally by the Serum Institute of India - will be administered on frontline workers under the first phase of the campaign throughout the country.