EU approves BioNtech/Pfizer vaccine
By ECCT staff writers
The EU has granted conditional marketing authorisation to the vaccine produced by BioNTech and Pfizer. According to an official statement by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the EU’s official website, Europa, the decision was taken following a thorough assessment of the vaccine by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which concluded that it is safe and effective against Covid-19.
According to the statement, the vaccine will be available for all EU countries, at the same time, on the same conditions. The first batches of the vaccine will be shipped from Pfizer's manufacturing site in Belgium within the next few days and vaccination can start on 27, 28 and 29 December.
The EMA will issue its opinion on the second vaccine, that of Moderna, on 6 January. While the EU will deliver vaccines for Europeans, it will also help secure them for the rest of the world. Team Europe is the largest contributor to the COVAX facility, with over €800 million for procuring vaccines for low- and middle-income countries.
BioNTech has received more than €9 million of EU research funding over the past decade, to develop ground-breaking technologies. And it secured a €100 million loan from the European Investment Bank, that is backed by the European Union, in June. This helped expand its manufacturing capacities and supply the vaccine quickly worldwide.