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16 DEC 2020

ANKARA: The European Union (EU) aims to start COVID-19 vaccination before the end of 2020, the EU’s drug agency announced Tuesday.

Anadolu Agency, in its report quoting the the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said in a written statement that the meeting to issue a decision on the vaccine will be held on Dec 21, eight days earlier than planned.

It said EU Commission head Ursula von der Leyen took to Twitter to welcome EMA’s decision, saying: “Every day counts -- we work at full speed to authorise COVID-19 vaccines that are safe and effective."

“Likely that the first Europeans will be vaccinated before end 2020!” she added.

EMA’s statement came after German Health Minister Jens Spahn said they expect the approval for the COVID-19 vaccine before Christmas.

The EU has made agreements to purchase about two billion doses of vaccine with six companies that have so far conducted "promising" vaccine studies, including 300 million from Pfizer and BioNTech.

The bloc also signed contracts with Moderna, AstraZeneca, CureVac, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi-GlaxoSmithKline.

The EMA is a European Union agency that authorises the use of medicines across the member states. - Bernama


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