• Distribution will begin across the EU on Saturday

On Monday the European Commission finally authorised the use of the BioNTech and Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19, which will mean that the first doses begin to be distributed in the Member States on Saturday with vaccination campaigns getting underway a day later, on Sunday 27 December.

The Brussels decision came hours after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) published its recommendation after verifying the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, confirming that it meets the necessary quality standards.

This was announced in a statement by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who said that the EMA’s opinion is based on a “comprehensive” evaluation of the safety, efficacy and quality of the product and that the decision to authorise its use in the European market has been endorsed by Member States.

The Community Executive had already said that it would shorten all the procedures to grant an urgent authorisation for the commercialisation of the vaccine in just a few days, when the process normally requires 67 days.

“As promised, the vaccine will be available to all member states at the same time, under the same conditions,” said Von der Leyen, after specifying that the first doses will leave Belgium, where they are produced, “in the next few days” for the rest of the EU countries.

She said that the first vaccine that has received permission to be marketed in the single market is “a true product of European innovation.”

“It is a very good way to end this difficult year and to finally be able to start turning the page of Covid-19”, with the majority of member states agreeing to start their vaccination campaigns between December 27 and 29.

Deliveries will continue in December and “on a weekly basis during the following months,” according to the European Commission, which estimates that the distribution of the 200 million doses will be completed in September 2021.

Brussels gives the green light to the BioNTech and Pfizer vaccine, which will begin to be distributed to countries on Saturday

Von der Leyen added that the BioNTech and Pfizer vaccine is not the only vaccine that the EMA is examining for conditional authorisation, so that in the near future there will be others on the market “if they show that they are safe and effective”.

The next opinion of the European agency on a candidate for a coronavirus vaccine is scheduled for January 6 and will be from the Moderna laboratory.