The EU may get the primary preliminary approvals for 2 Covid-19 vaccines, developed by pharmaceutical corporations Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, within the second half of December, European Fee president Ursula von der Leyen mentioned on Thursday (19 November).
Von der Leyen mentioned this is able to be a “very first step” and added that, initially, solely a small quantity of doses could be accessible, whereas large-scale distribution of vaccines would start subsequent 12 months.
“If all proceeds with no issues, the EMA [the European Medicines Agency] tells us that the conditional advertising and marketing authorisation for BioNTech and Moderna may occur as early because the second half of December 2020,” she instructed reporters after a videoconference of EU leaders.
Promising outcomes from trials of the US pharma firm Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech’s collaboration and US’s Moderna within the final two weeks have raised expectations that Covid-19 will be contained.
The EU fee has already concluded 5 contracts for various vaccines and is in talks with Modena.
Von der Leyen mentioned the EMA was additionally in “day by day calls” with its US counterpart, the Meals and Drug Administration (FDA), to synchronise assessments.
The fee has requested all member states to supply their plans to vaccinate the inhabitants in opposition to the coronavirus.
EU leaders mentioned overcome the logistical challenges on the subject of rolling out the vaccines, as soon as they change into accessible, and so they agreed to coordinate public info campaigns on vaccines.
“The variety of individuals distrustful of vaccines is rising and we should clearly talk their worth,” European Council president Charles Michel mentioned.
“We’re engaged on a vaccination marketing campaign to help member states within the communication on the significance of vaccines. It’s self-protection and it’s solidarity,” von der Leyen added.
Leaders additionally mentioned the necessity to keep away from a untimely finish to lockdown measures to keep away from additional waves of rising coronavirus infections.
“We now have all realized from the expertise in the summertime that the exit from a wave may be very troublesome and that lifting measures too rapidly has had a really unhealthy impression on the epidemiological scenario in summer season and fall,” von der Leyen mentioned.
“This time, expectations must be managed,” she added.
The fee will suggest a gradual and coordinated approached to lifting containment measures to keep away from the danger of one other wave.
Michel warned that in the course of the winter holidays, security must come first.
“All of us need to rejoice the end-of-the-year holidays, however safely. Let’s ring within the new 12 months safely,” he instructed reporters.