The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will decide on the authorisation of the first coronavirus vaccine in the European Union on Monday 21 December, earlier than initially planned.
Initially, the Agency had set 29 December as the deadline for its evaluation on the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, but has now planned an extra meeting on Monday.
This will still be before Christmas, a timeframe that was welcomed by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen on Twitter.
Every day counts - we work at full speed to authorise #COVID19 vaccines that are safe & effective.I welcome @EMA_News bringing forward its meeting to discuss the @pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, before Christmas. Likely that the first Europeans will be vaccinated before end 2020! — Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) December 15, 2020
Once the EMA recommends a marketing authorisation, the Commission will fast track its decision-making process with a view to granting a marketing authorisation valid in all EU and EEA Member States within days.
"Every day counts, we work at full speed to authorise Covid-19 vaccines that are safe and effective," said von der Leyen, adding that it is likely "that the first Europeans will be vaccinated before end 2020."
The Brussels Times