Jan 6, 2021 - Health

EU regulator approves Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine

picture of a coronavirus vaccine syringe in front of a moderna sign

Photo: John Beckmann/BSR Agency/Getty Images

The European Medicines Agency on Wednesday recommended Moderna's coronavirus vaccine for authorization in the European Union's 27 member states.

Why it matters: This is the second vaccine to be granted approval by the regulator. The European Commission — which has purchased 160 million doses of the Moderna vaccine — is likely to issue final approval this week.

  • European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that they "are working at full speed to approve it & make it available in the EU."
  • The commission approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in December.

The big picture: The EU has been criticized for its slow rollout of the vaccine as cases continue to rise and countries enter a third wave of lockdowns.

  • The EU officially began vaccinating with Pfizer-BioNTech shots on Dec. 27, but each country's distribution has been different.
  • According to CNBC, Germany vaccinated about 240,000 people in the first week of EU approval, while France inoculated 516 people and the Netherlands had not even started vaccinating.
  • The approval of the Moderna vaccine should further help the EU and its 446 million inhabitants resolve some supply issues.

What they're saying: "EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) has thoroughly assessed the data on the quality, safety and efficacy of the vaccine and recommended by consensus a formal conditional marketing authorisation be granted by the European Commission," EMA said in its statement.

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