EU set to approve Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine before Christmas
BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is on course to approve its first COVID-19 vaccine before Christmas after its drug regulator brought forward a deadline for review following the start of immunisation campaigns in the United States and Britain.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said an expert panel would now convene on Monday Dec. 21 to consider for possible approval the vaccine made by U.S. company Pfizer and German partner BioNTech. It had previously said the meeting could be as late as Dec 29.
Rising infection rates and tighter lockdown measures in many European nations have added to the pressure on the EMA to act as quickly as possible.
While EMA’s mandate is to issue recommendations on new medical treatments, the European Commission has the final say on approval and typically follows EMA’s advice. EU politicians said that would happen swiftly.