European Medicines Agency gives conditional approval to Covid vaccine

European Medicines Agency gives conditional approval to Covid vaccine
A person enters the European Medicines Agency in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. Source: AP Photo
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Daily US Times: The European Medicines Agency on Monday recommended conditional approval for a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer to be used across the European Union, weeks after the shot was first authorized in Britain and the US.

The EU regulator said following a closed-doors expert meeting that it was recommending the shot be given to people over 16 years of age. The pharmaceutical companies will need to submit follow-up data on their coronavirus vaccine for the next year.

Emer Cooke, the head of the agency, said: “This is really a historic scientific achievement.”

“It is a significant step forward in our fight against the pandemic.”

The approval of the vaccine needs to be rubber-stamped by the EU’s executive branch, a move its chief said is likely to happen Monday evening.

Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission President, tweeted that the EMA’s approval was “a decisive moment in our efforts to deliver safe & effective vaccines to Europeans!”

She said: “Now we will act fast.”

The EU’s executive branch had been expected to require two or three days to approve the EMA’s decision.

Authorities in Germany and several other European countries have said they hope to begin giving the Covid-19 vaccine to people on December 27.

Last week, the European Medicines Agency came under heavy pressure from countries calling for the vaccine to be granted approval for use as quickly as possible.

EMA originally set December 29 as the date for its evaluation of the coronavirus vaccine, but moved up the meeting to Monday.

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