AMSTERDAM – The European Union’s Medicines Agency on Wednesday gave the go-ahead for Moderna Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine, a decision that will give the 27-nation bloc a second vaccine in the desperate battle against the continent rampant virus can be used.
The approval recommendation of the Human Medicines Committee of the European Medicines Agency, which must be stamped by the EU Executive Commission, is due to the high infection rate in many EU countries and the strong criticism of the slow vaccination rate in the region of around 450 million people.
“This vaccine provides us with yet another tool in overcoming the current emergency,” said Emer Cooke, EMA Executive Director. “It is a testament to the efforts and dedication of everyone involved that we have this second positive vaccine recommendation just a year ago since the WHO declared the pandemic.”
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The US, Canada and Israel have already approved the use of the Moderna vaccine. The US gave the green light to the emergency for people over the age of 18 on December 18, followed by Canada five days later with provisional approval also for people over 18. Israel approved the vaccine on Monday.
Both Moderna’s and Pfizer-BioNTech’s recordings are mRNA vaccines made with a groundbreaking new technology. They don’t contain coronavirus – that is, they can’t cause infection. Instead, they use a genetic code that trains the immune system to recognize the spike protein on the surface of the virus that is ready to attack when the reality hits.
The EU officially started firing Pfizer BioNTech vaccination shots on December 27, but the pace of each country’s vaccination program has been very different. France vaccinated around 500 people in the first week, Germany 200,000. The Dutch only started administering vaccines on Wednesday, the last EU nation.