European Medicines Agency to review Moderna vaccine

The European Medicines Agency is set to review the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Moderna today. The Moderna vaccine would be

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Photo: AP Photo/Peter Dejong

The European Medicines Agency is set to review the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Moderna today.

The Moderna vaccine would be the second vaccine to hit the EU market after the Pfizer/BioNTech version was approved by the European Commission on 21 December. The EU hopes the reported 94.1% efficacy rate will curb an alarming spike in cases.

The EU has come under fire for its sluggish rollout of the vaccine in the face of several countries extending economically damaging lockdowns. With production capability stretched thin and the largest deliveries expected in April, the EU will likely continue to lag behind peers like the US in administering the vaccine.

Expect Brussels to hasten its approval processes after having already moved the Moderna review up from the originally scheduled 12 January. The EU has signed contracts with six potential suppliers still yet to be cleared for use. More deals are likely in order to procure their goal of two billion vaccines, more than four times the bloc’s population. However, standardising distribution may remain challenging as each member state is independently responsible for securing doses. Varying levels of administrative capacity in EU member states could delay the future process of distribution.

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