BRUSSELS

The EU’s medicines agency on Wednesday approved the coronavirus vaccine developed by the US biotechnology firm Moderna.

The European Medicine Agency (EMA) recommended granting a conditional authorization to the Moderna jab a week earlier than originally expected after the EU had been criticized for legalizing the vaccines too slowly.

Following the approval of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine in December, this is the second vaccine that gets the green light from the European regulator.

The European Commission is expected to give the final authorization for marketing the Moderna vaccine in the shortest delay.

“This vaccine provides us with another tool to overcome the current emergency,” said Emer Cooke, the executive director of the agency.

The vaccine proved to be 94.1% efficient in a trial involving 30,000 people.

In total, the EU made agreements with six pharmaceutical companies – Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, CureVac, Johnson&Johnson, and Sanofi/GlaxoSmithKline – to purchase about 2 billion vaccine doses.

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