The European Medicines Agency (EMA) plans to give its favorable opinion on a first vaccine against the new coronavirus “by the end of the year” for distribution “from January”, said on Saturday its director.
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“If the data is solid, we can give the green light to the first vaccine by the end of the year and start distribution from January,” says Guido Rasi, director of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) , in an interview published on Saturday in the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.
This body is responsible for authorizing and controlling medicines in the EU. The final green light, given by the European Commission, allows laboratories to market their medicine throughout the EU.
The EMA, which expects “6 or 7” different vaccines available in 2021, received Friday “the first clinical data from Pfizer for its vaccine,” said Guido Rasi. “We received preclinical data from AstraZeneca, those from animal trials which are already being evaluated and finally we had several discussions with Moderna”, he enumerates.
By putting a vaccine on the market in January, its first effects on the spread of the virus “will be visible in five to six months, mainly next summer,” he explains.
“Obviously it will not be possible to vaccinate everyone, but we will start with the most exposed categories, such as the elderly and health workers, which will start to block the transmission bridges,” notes the manager.
He considers that it is necessary to vaccinate “more than half” of the European population in order “to be able to witness a decline in the pandemic”, which will require “at least 500 million doses in Europe”.
To vaccinate everyone, “it will take at least a year” and “if all goes well at the end of 2021, we will have sufficient immunization,” adds Guido Rasi.