AstraZeneca applies for EU authorisation of its Covid-19 vaccine

Distribution of first doses of Moderna vaccine starts in Germany

British-Swedish producer AstraZeneca has applied for EU authorisation of its Covid-19 vaccine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Tuesday.

"Good news! AstraZeneca has applied to [the European Medicines Agency] to have its vaccine authorised in the EU," von der Leyen tweeted. "Once the vaccine receives a positive scientific opinion, we will work full speed to authorise its use in Europe,"she added.

According to the EMA, an opinion on the conditional authorization could follow on 29 January, provided that the data are sufficiently robust and complete. This would be the third vaccine to get the green light in the bloc, following approval of the vaccines produced by BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna.

The first doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine are to be distributed in Germany on Tuesday, two weeks after inoculations with the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine began, dpa reported.

Some 2 million doses of the Moderna vaccine are to arrive in Germany by the end of the first quarter and some 50 million doses by the end of the year, Health Minister Jens Spahn said. Recipients will not have a choice as to whether they receive the Moderna vaccine or its equivalent from BioNTech/Pfizer.

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