BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission is likely to give the final authorisation for the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines days after the EU drug regulator approves them, a spokesman for the EU executive said on Tuesday.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said earlier on Tuesday it planned to decide whether to approve the vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech by Dec 29, and by Jan. 12 on the shot being developed by Moderna.
“It’s probably a matter of days. The goal is to do it rapidly,” the spokesman told a news conference, adding the exact date depended on the EMA’s possible authorisations.
Under EU rules, EMA recommends the authorisation of a drug or vaccine and the EU Commission authorises them on the basis of the EMA’s scientific advice, after consultation with the 27 EU states.
(This story corrects day from Monday to Tuesday in paragraphs 1 and 2)
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; Editing by Philip Blenkinsop, Alison Williams and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)