Second Covid vaccine approved by EU medicines agency
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Wednesday approved the coronavirus vaccine developed by American pharmaceutical company Moderna. If the European Commission adopts the advice, the EU member states can start using the vaccine.
This is the second coronavirus vaccine approved in the EU. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was given the green light on December 21 and was used for the first time in the Netherlands on Wednesday. The Moderna vaccine also requires two doses, but does not have to be stored at extremely low temperatures like the Pfizer vaccine. It will therefore be easier for family physicians and nursing homes to maintain a supply.
According to the Dutch medicines evaluation board CBG, the Moderna vaccine protects 94.1 percent of people aged 18 and older against the coronavirus. The vaccine also prevents more severe forms of Covid-19 and is 90.9 percent effective in protecting high-risk groups. "With this second coronavirus vaccine, we have an extra means of getting out of this pandemic," Ton de Boer of the CBG said to NOS.
The European Union ordered 160 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, 6.2 million of which will go to the Netherlands. As two injections are required per person, that's enough to inoculate over 3 million Netherlands residents. The doses must be administered 28 days apart, and people have maximum protection from 14 days after the second dose.
The intention is to use the Moderna vaccine for residents of nursing homes and people over the age of 75 living at home. On Monday, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge informed parliament that he expects the first Moderna deliveries at the end of this month.