The European Medicines Agency (EMA) paved the way for the use of the Moderna vaccine. She recommends conditional approval in the EU. Now the EU Commission has to agree.
The European Union is about to approve a second corona vaccine. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) gave the green light to the use of the vaccine from the US biotech group Moderna. The EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommended conditional approval.
The final decision on the approval of the vaccine must now be made by the European Commission, but its approval is considered certain. “Now we are working flat out to approve it and make it available in the EU,” tweeted EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. It will be the second Covid-19 vaccine approved in the European Union, after the funding from BioNTech and Pfizer.
Already approved in the USA, Canada and Israel
The United States had issued an emergency approval for the Moderna vaccine before Christmas. It was also approved in Canada and Israel. In contrast to the vaccine from BioNTech and Pfizer, it does not require ultra-cold storage and could therefore be delivered more easily.
Hundreds of thousands of EU citizens have now been vaccinated with the BioNTech vaccine since it was approved on December 21. However, the bumpy start of the vaccination campaign caused criticism. So far, the EU has secured 300 million doses of the BioNTech vaccine.
50 million Moderna vaccination doses for Germany
The European Union initially ordered 80 million cans from Moderna, with the option to purchase a further 80 million cans. Germany expects to receive at least 1.5 million doses of Moderna in the first few weeks. In total, the federal government has secured 50 million vaccine doses from this manufacturer via the EU.
At the beginning of the week, Moderna raised its production forecast for this year and now expects to be able to produce at least 600 million instead of 500 million cans. The company is continuing to invest and hire staff to potentially produce up to a billion cans, it said.
Effectiveness is around 94 percent
According to the final analysis of the approval-relevant study, the effectiveness of the Moderna vaccine is a good 94 percent. BioNTech and Pfizer had estimated the effectiveness of their vaccine at 95 percent. Both vaccines are based on a new technology and use so-called messenger RNA (mRNA), which is supposed to convey the information about the production of proteins to human cells and thus about the fight against pathogens.