The European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved on January 6 the use in the European Union of the coronavirus vaccine from the American laboratory Moderna, the second so authorized.

The EMA thus gives an impetus to the vaccination campaigns in the 27 countries of the EU where the critics rise against the slowness of the process, behind compared to the United States, the United Kingdom or Israel.

“The EMA has recommended to grant conditional marketing authorization for Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine to prevent disease in people over the age of 18,” according to a statement from the European authority Regulatory Authority for Medicines, based in Amsterdam.

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A highly anticipated vaccine

“This vaccine provides us with another tool to overcome the current emergency,” said EMA director general Emer Cooke, quoted by the press release.

The agency had authorized on December 21 the vaccine of the alliance of the American Pfizer and the German BioNTech. “To have this second positive recommendation for a vaccine less than a year after the WHO declared the pandemic is a testament to the efforts and commitment of all involved,” Cooke continued.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said for her part that it was “good news for our efforts to provide Europeans with more vaccines against Covid-19”. EU countries have pressured the EMA to give the green light to Moderna’s vaccine as the pandemic rages across Europe.

A “gigantic challenge”

EU Council President Charles Michel underlined that “the Commission, with the support of the Member States, is working day and night to ensure that we can increase the number of vaccines available” while ensuring “to respect the independence of the drug agency “. He recalled that deploying vaccines for 450 million people is a “gigantic challenge”.

The United States uses vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Great Britain is leading its campaign with vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca.

Moderna’s vaccine has been shown to be 94.1% effective against Covid-19 disease compared to placebo in a clinical trial on 30,400 people, with slightly better performance in young adults compared to older ones.