BERLIN — Germanys health minister says the countrys independent vaccine committee has formally approved giving the AstraZeneca shot to people aged 65 and over.

Minister Jens Spahn said Thursday that the decision was good news for older people who are waiting for a vaccination. They will get vaccinated faster.

The vaccine made by British-Swedish company AstraZeneca is one of three authorized for use in the 27-nation European Union. But several countries, including Germany, initially restricted it to people aged under 65, or in some cases under 55, citing a lack of data on its effectiveness in older people.