European Union commission greenlights Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine

  • European Union commission greenlights Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine

European Union commission greenlights Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine

Moderna vaccine is the second to be approved by the European Medicines Agency.

Biden, who will be inaugurated on January 20, plans to release every available dose of vaccine, rather than holding back half to make sure people receive their booster shots on time as is the current protocol.

Reuters had reported on Wednesday that the regulator was close to approving such a move.

So far, it has supplied around 18 million doses to the U.S. government which will procure 200 million doses in this deal.

Early results of large, still unfinished studies show both the Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines appear safe and strongly protective, although Moderna's is easier to handle since it doesn't need to be stored at ultra-frozen temperatures.

Vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford received approval in December followed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE's shot.

The EU's executive branch negotiates on behalf of the member states and it has secured contracts to provide up to 2 billion doses of potential vaccines with six different producers.

The most common side effects are "pain and swelling at the injection site, tiredness, chills, fever, swollen or tender lymph nodes under the arm, headache, muscle and joint pain, nausea and vomiting", the EMA said.

The Moderna shot, validated by the European regulatory body EMA on Wednesday could also be used for people over 75, since data so far suggests an 86 percent effective rate for the elderly, compared with 94 percent efficiency for younger adults. United Kingdom authorities also gave it the green light. Israel authorized the vaccine on Monday.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 vaccine tracker, the US had distributed 8.9 million doses of Pfizer's and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines as of Monday afternoon.

The Commission has denied accusations that it did not order enough doses, pointing instead to bottlenecks in production and delivery. They don't contain any coronavirus - meaning they can not cause infection.

The decision clears the way for a second vaccine option after the Pfizer-BioNTech jab in an inoculation campaign that has been assailed by critics as lagging far behind those of its neighbours. "This means we have more vaccine available in the European Union and can fight the pandemic faster".