The European Union Drug Administration (EMA) gave the green light to the Corona virus vaccine developed by the American pharmaceutical company Moderna on Wednesday. The approval received by Moderna means that the European Union, consisting of 27 countries, will be provided with a second vaccine to combat the increasing cases of Corona infection.
The recommendation of the EMA’s commission for approving drugs used in humans coincided with the high rate of infection cases in many countries within the European Union and the increasing criticism of mass vaccination efforts of 450 million unions.
In order for the vaccine to be licensed, it must be approved by the European Commission.
EMA President Emer Cooke said, “This vaccine provides us with a new tool to overcome the current emergency. This recommendation for a second vaccine to be approved less than a year after the World Health Organization’s pandemic announcement is proof of the efforts and commitment of those involved in vaccination studies.” .
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also welcomed the approval of the Moderna vaccine and said in a Twitter message she shared, “We are now working at full speed to approve the vaccine and make it available throughout the European Union.”
EMA had previously approved the Corona virus vaccine developed by American Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.
In a Twitter message shared by EMA before the meeting on the Moderna vaccine, it was stated that the experts “worked hard to clarify all the issues regarding the company that have not yet been resolved”. However, EMA did not clarify what these issues were. Moderna did not make any statements on this either.
Criticism from Germany to EMA
Criticizing the EMA’s slow down the vaccine approval process, German Health Minister Jens Spahn said that he expects the Moderna vaccine to be distributed to European Union countries from next week. Minister Spahn noted that Germany will receive 2 million doses of vaccine in the first quarter of 2021 and 50 million doses within the year.
“The issue is the shortage of manufacturing capacity due to high global demand,” he said.
Preliminary results of large-scale studies that have not yet been completed show that both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are safe and provide strong protection. The fact that the Moderna vaccine does not require storage at extremely low temperatures is considered an advantage.
The USA, Canada and Israel have approved the Moderna vaccine so far. The Moderna vaccine, which opened the way to obtain an emergency use license for people aged 18 and over on December 18 in the USA, received a pre-license from Canada on December 23. Israel also approved the Moderna vaccine on Monday.
Moderna increases production capacity
Global vaccine production will be increased from 500 million doses to 600 million doses in 2021, Moderna said on Monday. The company noted that it invested to produce 1 billion doses of vaccine for 2021 and increased the number of employees.
The messenger RNA vaccines developed by both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech do not cause infection because they do not contain Corona virus. The genetic code fragments contained in these vaccines enable the human body to recognize the immune system, the spike protein, the protrusions covering the surface of the Corona virus, so that it is prepared to resist when it encounters the virus.
The European Union started mass vaccination studies on December 27, using Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. However, the vaccination program of each EU country is progressing at a different pace. While France vaccinated 500 people in the first week, Germany vaccinated 200 thousand people. The Netherlands, which started its vaccination studies on Wednesday, became the last country in the European Union to switch to mass vaccination.