The European Union could approve two vaccines against Covid-19 as early as this year. They are developed by Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna.
The President of the European Commission Urzula von der Leiena informed that the European Medicines Agency could give conditional marketing approval already in the second half of December. This will be possible if all tests run smoothly.
The US and German pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech have already submitted the relevant data to the agency. It is not yet clear whether the process will proceed smoothly, but von der Leiena was cautiously optimistic.
The head of the commission also informed that negotiations are ongoing with other companies, including Moderna and Novavax, but agreements have also been concluded with Purevac, AstraZeneca and Sanofi to reserve hundreds of millions of doses of vaccines.
She emphasized that the leaders of all 27 European Union member states had expressed support for a joint vaccine purchasing program.
Von der Leiena also warned EU countries not to use a vaccine manufactured in Russia, which does not yet have safety approvals from the European Medicines Agency and for which very limited test data have been published. However, information indicates that Hungary has already received the first doses of Sputnik-5 vaccine produced in Russia.
The European Commission has also called on Member States to draw up their own vaccination plans so that it is clear who will be vaccinated first and how. Vaccines will be delivered in installments.
Meanwhile, Belgium, which has decided to buy five million Pfizer vaccines, is already preparing its airport for the supply of a valuable product that requires extremely low temperatures so that it does not lose its effectiveness.
The risks of distributing vaccines, from complex logistics to the activities of opponents of vaccination, were also discussed in a video conference of EU leaders this week. An aggressive public relations campaign is needed to combat this.
“The number of people who do not trust vaccines is growing. And we need to make clear the value of vaccines, “said European Council President Charles Michel.
The European Commission (EC) announced on 11 November that concluded an agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech for the delivery of up to 300 million doses of the experimental Covid-19 vaccine.
Under the agreement, the EU-27 will be able to buy 200 million doses of vaccine and will be able to buy another 100 million doses. The 27 EU Member States will receive doses according to their population.
The EU has already reached an agreement with AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutica and CureVac to purchase their Covid-19 vaccines when they are available and is in talks with Moderna.
The US company Moderna announced that according to the initial results of its development of Covid-19 vaccine in clinical trials was 94.5% effective. For example, US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German company BioNTech said on Wednesday that 95% efficiency.
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