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First Covid-19 vaccinations in EU likely this year, says von der Leyen

European Union countries could begin coronavirus inoculations as soon as this year, the head of the European Commission said on Tuesday. The statement by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen followed the EU drug regulator’s decision to bring forward its possible approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to Dec. 21.

“Likely that the first Europeans will be vaccinated before end 2020,” Ursula von der Leyen wrote on Twitter after a decision by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to hold an extraordinary meeting on the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 21, before a previously planned meeting on Dec. 29. The earlier possible approval followed pressure by Germany, media report.

After possible approval by the EU regulator, the European Commission is expected to formally approve the Pfizer vaccine within three days, after consultations with the 27 EU governments, reuters reported.

Commission decisions on approvals of medicines usually follow the EMA’s recommendations. The approval of the Pfizer vaccine by the Commission is considered a formality if the EMA issues a positive recommendation.

EU countries can begin vaccinations immediately after formal approval by the EU Commission.

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  1. The EU has been shamed into “bringing forward” approval because it has been shown how its clumsy, inept and unaccountable bureaucracy has held up approval compared with UK. Every day literally costs hundreds of lives, that is blood on the EU’s hand

  2. But it will still take a lot of time until we all are vaccinated! The Pfizer company has, sorry to say, some troubles in their factories and there are many countries who compete for vaccin. Even if Pfizer has a couple of factories there are billions of doses to be made, especially since every human needs two doses! So, we are definitly not on the safe side yet. We must all remember that in the coming months.