European Union drugs watchdog to review Astra-Oxford vaccine this month

AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced on Tuesday that British-Swedish producer AstraZeneca had applied for authorization to distribute its vaccine in the EU.

Should the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine get the greenlight by EMA and then the Commission's formal approval, it will become the third vaccine against Coronavirus available in the European Union, after the shot developed by BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna.

The agency said it would conduct an expedited review, with a decision that could be made on January 29, if the data reported is "robust and complete" enough.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen welcomed the filing of the application for the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine as "good news".

"However, the European agency is in the process of the preliminary talks with the Russian developer of the vaccine", he said.

The AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine is cheaper to produce than that of its rivals.

Dustin Diamond - aka Screech from 'Saved by the Bell' - Hospitalized
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Speaking on RTÉ's News at One on Friday, Professor Karina Butler said this was due to it not having to be stored at cold temperatures and the time sensitivity around administering the vaccine.

Don't take this to mean the AstraZeneca vaccine isn't safe, mind you; Professor Turner said Australia could use a rollout of the AstraZeneca formulation to "blunt" COVID-19's potential to spread through Australia.

Switzerland approved the Moderna vaccine yesterday.

An 82-year-old man became the first person in the world to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab as the United Kingdom rolled out the vaccine as part of its inoculation program earlier this month.

But she added the federal government should be "finessing up our strategy and making sure that we deliver for Australia the most effective vaccines".

Additional information was also provided by AstraZeneca at the request of CHMP and is now being studied. They have been provided, she said on Tuesday, and they are being reviewed.

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