WHO considers Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine safe in elderly

    After reviewing information provided by the European Medicines Agency and the Uppsala Monitoring Center on deaths reported in Europe and in the WHO global database (VigiBase) following vaccination with the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine [BNT162b2; tozinameran], the WHO's Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) COVID-19 Vaccine Safety subcommittee considers that the benefit-risk profile of the vaccine is favourable in elderly people.

    The subcommittee concluded that current reports do not suggest any unexpected or untoward increase in deaths or unusual adverse events after vaccination with tozinameran in frail, elderly people which would lead to revision in recommendations around the safety of the vaccine.

    The committee recommends that data on suspected adverse events after vaccination with any COVID-19 vaccine should be collected and reviewed continuously, nationally, regionally and globally. The GACVS subcommittee will provide updated advice as necessary.


    1. World Health Organization. GACVS COVID-19 Vaccine Safety subcommittee meeting to review reports of deaths of very frail elderly individuals vaccinated with Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, BNT162b2. Internet Document : 22 Jan 2021. Available from: URL: https://www.who.int/news/item/22-01-2021-gacvs-review-deaths-pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine-bnt162b2

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    WHO considers Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine safe in elderly. Reactions Weekly 1841, 5 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40278-021-90507-2

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