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EU steps up vaccination programs

To respond to criticism of the slowness of the anti-covid19 vaccine injection campaigns, the Commission on Friday doubled its orders for Pfizer-BioNTech doses while the United Kingdom in turn validates the vaccine created by Moderna.

To respond to criticism of the slowness of the anti-covid19 vaccine injection campaigns, the Commission on Friday doubled its orders for Pfizer-BioNTech doses while the United Kingdom in turn validates the vaccine created by Moderna.

(AFP) – Faced with criticism of the slowness of vaccination campaigns on the continent, Europe is preparing the forthcoming authorization in the EU of a third vaccine, that of AstraZeneca / Oxford, after those of Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna. The European Medicines Agency (EMA), under pressure by member states, said on Friday that a decision on the vaccine could be taken at the end of January.

The European Commission announced on Friday that it had ordered 200 million additional doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, with an option for 100 million more, for a total of 600 million doses. They will begin to be delivered in the second quarter of 2021. With the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, “we have already ensured a quantity of doses which allows us to vaccinate 380 million Europeans, it is more than 80% of the population, and other vaccines will follow in the weeks and months to come, ”said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The rapid spread of new variants of the coronavirus is worrying, the vaccines, designed in record time, still not being deployed on a large scale. A reassuring sign, the BioNTech / Pfizer vaccine appears to be effective against a “key mutation” in the British and South African variants of the coronavirus, the BioNTech laboratory reported. And with the right syringes, it is possible to extract six doses per vial of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, compared to the current five doses, thus increasing the capacity to use the vaccines already ordered, the EMA said.

The United Kingdom, the country in Europe most bereaved by the epidemic with more than 78,000 dead, also broadened its panoply in the fight against Covid-19 by approving the Moderna vaccine on Friday, after those of Pfizer and Astra -Zeneca. The clock is ticking and the mayor of London has warned that hospitals are in danger of being overwhelmed. “The situation in London is now critical, with the virus spreading out of control,” admitted Sadiq Khan, who on Friday declared a “major incident”, involving a coordinated response from public services.

For Western countries, vaccines are the main hope to come out of the pandemic, which continues to spread with nearly 1.9 million people having perished worldwide and 87 million confirmed cases.


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