Moderna Covid-19 vaccine approved for EU countries
Ireland has ordered 880,000 doses of the second vaccine approved for use in the European Union.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved the use of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine for use on people over the age of 18 in EU countries, including Ireland.
The Moderna vaccine is the second Covid-19 vaccine approved for use in the EU after the Pfizer vaccine and, like the Pfizer vaccine, involves two doses being administered into the arm of the recipient, 28 days apart.
📢 EMA has recommended granting a conditional marketing authorisation for COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna to prevent #COVID19 in people from 18 years of age: https://t.co/l9KMZlx7wa pic.twitter.com/BdvXanjOHN
— EU Medicines Agency (@EMA_News) January 6, 2021
The EU has agreed a deal with Moderna for 80 million doses of the vaccine, with 880,000 of those set to be supplied to Ireland. Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says the arrival of the Moderna vaccine will allow for up to 10,000 extra vaccinations in Ireland per week.
Good news. Once delivered, it should allow us to increase the number of people we vaccinate by an extra c.10k per week https://t.co/PaCOY9yile
— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) January 6, 2021
The EU also has an option to secure an additional 80 million doses of the vaccine, which it is likely to take up, as well as a deal to secure 300 million additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
As yet, there is no confirmed date as to when the doses of the vaccine will arrive in Ireland, but German Health Minister Jens Spahn said he expects the first delivery to arrive in Germany next week.
Clinical trials with the Moderna vaccine showed a 94.1% reduction in the number of symptomatic Covid-19 cases in those who received the vaccine and a 90.9% efficacy in participants at risk of severe Covid-19, including those with chronic lung disease, heart disease, obesity, liver disease, diabetes or HIV infection.
The EMA said that its human medicines committee (CHMP) has thoroughly assessed the data on the quality, safety and efficacy of the vaccine and recommended by consensus a formal conditional marketing authorisation be granted by the European Commission.
That authorisation by the European Commission is expected within 24 hours and will, according to the EMA, assure EU citizens that the vaccine meets EU standards and puts in place the safeguards, controls and obligations to underpin EU-wide vaccination campaigns.
“This vaccine provides us with another tool to overcome the current emergency,” said Emer Cooke, Executive Director of EMA.
“It is a testament to the efforts and commitment of all involved that we have this second positive vaccine recommendation just short of a year since the pandemic was declared by WHO (World Health Organisation).
“As for all medicines, we will closely monitor data on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine to ensure ongoing protection of the EU public. Our work will always be guided by the scientific evidence and our commitment to safeguard the health of EU citizens.”