The high expectations of the vaccine from the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca may not be justified.

The German newspaper

Handelsblatt

has interviewed government sources who say the drug is effective in only 8 percent of the over-65s.

The fear is that this vaccine, which may receive EU approval this week, will not come close to the more than 90 percent effectiveness of the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.

What exactly the government sources are basing on is not clear, however.

The alleged low effectiveness in seniors is a setback for the German vaccination strategy, the newspaper writes.

The newspaper

Bild

reports that the vaccine will not be allowed for the elderly.

The Netherlands also wants to vaccinate many people with the AstraZeneca vaccine, including the elderly.

Previously, tests showed that the AstraZeneca vaccine had an average effectiveness of 70 percent.

That later rose to 90 percent, depending on the dosage.

The company did not directly comment on the reporting from Germany, Reuters news agency reports.

The United Kingdom has already approved the drug, including for the elderly.

The Netherlands and the 27 other EU countries have together reserved 400 million doses from AstraZeneca.

The company reported a delay in production and delivery last weekend.

Brussels says it will do everything it can to ensure that the contract for the delivery of the doses is respected.

AstraZeneca was unable to provide sufficient clarification about the delay, according to EU Commissioner Stella Kyriakides (Public Health).

She had another consultation with the company on Monday evening, after which she complained about "lack of clarity and insufficient explanation".

The European Commission and EU countries have requested detailed planning of the deliveries and when the distribution will take place, she tweeted.

New consultation will follow on Wednesday.