In this file illustration photo taken on 17 November 2020 are pictured vials with COVID-19 Vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German partner BioNTech
In this file illustration photo taken on 17 November 2020 are pictured vials with COVID-19 Vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German partner BioNTechAFP

The European Commission is likely to give the final authorisation for the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines days after the EU drug regulator approves them, a spokesman for the EU executive said on Monday.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said earlier on Monday it planned to decide on whether to approve the vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech by 29 December, and by 12 January on the shot being developed by Moderna.

“It’s probably a matter of days. The goal is to do it rapidly,” the spokesman told a news conference, adding the exact date depended on the EMA’s possible authorisations.

Under EU rules, EMA recommends the authorisation of a drug or vaccine and the EU Commission authorises them on the basis of the EMA’s scientific advice, after consultation with the 27 EU states.

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