Moderna’s vaccine for COVID-19 looks set for EU approval after the bloc’s medicines agency announced it was moving a meeting forward to authorise the vaccine by one week.
The meeting was initially scheduled for 12th January. However, this has now been brought forward to 6th January.
“We have constantly revised our planning to further streamline all the procedural aspects that need to be in place for a robust scientific assessment that leads to a marketing authorization in all EU countries,” EMA Executive Director Emer Cooke said.
“The number of infections is increasing across Europe and we are aware of the huge responsibility we have to get a vaccine to the market as quickly as is feasible, whilst maintaining the robustness of our scientific review.”
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has been found to be 94% effective in an analysis released by the US regulator, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Yesterday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that 27 EU member states will begin inoculating their populations on 27th December with the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine.
Compared to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Moderna’s only requires temperatures of -20C for shipping and storage (a temperature similar to normal freezers) as opposed to the -70C of the Pfizer jab.
However, both vaccines will require a two-shot treatment, with a 28-day gap between the first and second injection.
Malta is set to receive 1.6 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine including BioNTech-Pfizer and five other jabs secured by the EU.
The first batch of vaccinations will be distributed towards healthcare workers, elderly care home staff and residents, mental care home staff and residents and everyone over 85.
The second batch will include everyone over 80 and all other front-liners and the third batch will include everyone suffering from chronic illnesses, everyone over 70 and school and childcare centre workers.
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