The European Commission granted on Wednesday conditional market authorization for the coronavirus vaccine developed by the US biotechnology firm Moderna.
“We are providing more COVID-19 vaccines for Europeans. With the Moderna vaccine, the second one now authorized in the EU, we will have a further 160 million doses. And more vaccines will come,” said Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission.
The European Commission’s approval came immediately after the European Medicine Agency (EMA) gave conditional approval for the Moderna vaccine to be used in the European Union.
The drugs agency recommended granting a conditional authorization to the Moderna jab a week earlier than originally expected after the EU had been criticized for legalizing the vaccines too slowly.
Following the approval of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine in December, this is the second vaccine that gets the green light from the European regulator.
“This vaccine provides us with another tool to overcome the current emergency,” said Emer Cooke, the executive director of the agency.
The vaccine proved to be 94.1% efficient in a trial involving 30,000 people.
In total, the EU made agreements with six pharmaceutical companies -- Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, CureVac, Johnson&Johnson, and Sanofi/GlaxoSmithKline -- to purchase about 2 billion vaccine doses.
By Agnes Szucs in Brussels