AstraZeneca and Oxford University have filed an application to the EU for the authorisation of their coronavirus vaccine.
If approved, Malta will receive one million doses of the vaccine, according to Health Minister Chris Fearne, expediting the country’s vaccination programme drastically.
AstraZeneca-Oxford applied for conditional marketing authorisation earlier today under what the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has described as “an accelerated timeline”.
Earlier this month, the European Medicines Authority Deputy Executive Noel Wathion said that the watchdog agency was “unlikely” to authorise the vaccine this month.
However, since applying for authorisation, the ECDC said an opinion could be issued as early as 29th January.
“Such a short timeframe for evaluation is only possible because EMA has already reviewed some data on the vaccine during a rolling review,” they said.
Malta is currently receiving two Covid-19 vaccines, one from Moderna and the other from Pfizer.
As it stands, the country will have a total of 770,000 vaccines by the end of the year with herd immunity expected to be achieved by summertime.
However, the procurement of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine would expedite this process greatly.
Despite the good news, the World Health Organisation has forecasted that world herd immunity won’t be achieved until next year.
What do you make of this? Let us know below