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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.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Jan 20, 2021 - Health

Vaccine trials for children could produce data by summer

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Ongoing trials may produce data by this summer to indicate whether the vaccines are safe for children, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Children generally aren't at risk of serious coronavirus infections, but vaccinating them will be key to protecting the adults around them and, eventually, reaching herd immunity.

17 hours ago - Health

Amazon offers to help Biden administration with COVID vaccine efforts

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the White House with Jill Biden in 2016. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Amazon's worldwide consumer CEO Dave Clark has offered to help the Biden administration with its coronavirus vaccination goals by mobilizing efforts to inoculate its employees, according to a letter sent to President Biden on Wednesday.

Why it matters: As demand for the coronavirus vaccine is outstripping supply, Amazon has about 800,000 employees, many of whom are essential workers. The Biden administration wants to vaccinate 100 million Americans in 100 days.

Updated Jan 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.