In the vaccine race, the European Commission is working hard

► How many vaccines are available in the European Union (EU)?

« We have a lot of plans for 2021 – especially reconstruction. All of this presupposes beating the pandemic. We must vaccinate as many Europeans as possible, as quickly as possible », said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on January 8, before unveiling a « very positive news ” : the conclusion by the EU of an agreement for the acquisition of 300 million additional doses of the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech against Covid-19, thus doubling the quantity ordered.

→ EXPLANATION. In France, who can buy vaccines against Covid-19?

Until then, the Commission had secured, on behalf of the Twenty-seven, access to 300 million doses of the precious vaccine from the American-German consortium. The EU could thus acquire up to 600 million doses of this vaccine authorized since December 21. Of the 300 million additional doses, 75 million could be available from the second quarter of 2021. In parallel, the vaccine developed by Moderna was approved on January 6.

With the American, Brussels has reserved 80 million firm doses and 80 million optional doses. The total therefore reached 760 million doses, which would allow, according to the president, “Vaccinate 380 million Europeans”, is “More than 80% of the population”.

► Is the Commission behind schedule?

Everywhere on the Old Continent, the slowness of the countryside is criticized. And for good reason: only a few hundred thousand Europeans have received their first injection, where in China, the United States or Israel, the doses administered already number in the millions. But the European executive does not budge: it has done its best. In June, it decided to build up a reserve of vaccine candidates, through early purchase agreements – with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna therefore, but also with CureVac, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi-GSK. This portfolio potentially provides « 2.3 billion doses, which is more than enough to vaccinate the entire population ”, a souligné Ursula von der Leyen.

« I am convinced that the EU has done the right thing », she hammered. More than 2 billion euros have been released by the institution to invest in these six laboratories. « We would not have been able to double the number of doses of Pfizer and BioNTech if in the summer we had not invested in production capacities », “UVDL” persists.

► Did Germany go it alone?

If the Commission has taken the reins of these talks with the pharmaceutical giants (with the approval of the Twenty-Seven), it is « avoid a shallot race » between states, confirms an institutional source. In this context, the States are not authorized to negotiate in parallel with the companies canvassed by the Commission. Germany has however reserved “From September” 30 million additional doses produced by Pfizer and BioNTech because « it is not certain that all current vaccine candidates will be approved », explains Sebastien Gilde, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health in Berlin.

Germany has therefore completely ignored European requirements. Chancellor Angela Merkel may have to report to her counterparts from January 21: the President of the European Council has invited leaders to a videoconference to discuss the European vaccine strategy.

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EU countries advise on vaccination certificates for travel

So Should the EU Commission develop a vaccination certificate so that vaccinated people can travel freely again throughout Europe or go to restaurants? On Thursday of this week, the heads of state and government of the European Union will discuss this for the first time in a video conference to better coordinate the pandemic.

Thomas Gutschker

Political correspondent for the European Union, NATO and the Benelux countries based in Brussels.

The European Ministers prepared this discussion on Monday. Everyone agrees on one thing: They want a coordinated European approach. But opinions differ about the right time. The topic is controversial, even downright “toxic”, it is said in diplomatic circles.

It was brought up by the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Last week, he called on EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to take the initiative for a uniform vaccination certificate. “We do not want to make vaccination compulsory or a requirement for travel, but everyone who has been vaccinated should be allowed to travel freely,” wrote Mitsotakis in a letter.

He also enclosed the draft for a certificate. It would list the vaccinee’s personal details, the date of the vaccination and the vaccine used. A QR code forwards to a database with which the information can be verified in order to prevent counterfeiting.

“Safe corridors” for vacationers

It is no coincidence that Athens rushes ahead on this issue. The country wants to ensure that tourists can return to the country as soon as possible. That is why the Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa immediately joined. In the summer you should be able to travel safely to Portugal, said Costa, whose country holds the rotating Council Presidency. That reminds of last spring. The Croatians wanted to use their Council Presidency to set up “safe corridors” for vacationers from some countries to the Adriatic.

At the time, the Commission immediately made it clear that this should not lead to new forms of discrimination. This threatens again: not in individual countries, but in those groups that are vaccinated late. The ambassadors of several countries pointed this out when they first discussed the subject at the end of last week. France, Belgium and the Netherlands in particular expressed this opinion – the vaccination campaign is only getting off to a slow start in the three countries, so far they have vaccinated less than 0.8 percent of their population.

Amazement at Meuse

Germany, too, where it is 1.25 percent, made it clear that the debate was coming much too early. The proportion of those vaccinated would have to be significantly higher before tourism trips could be made possible again with an EU certificate. In addition, it is uncertain whether the active ingredient only protects vaccinated people or also prevents further infections.

In view of this, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas’ latest move also aroused astonishment in Brussels. Maas had campaigned in the “Bild am Sonntag” that those who had been vaccinated could go back to the restaurant or the cinema. It is not a question of privileges, but of the “exercise of basic rights,” he argued. And whoever has been vaccinated will at least “not take a ventilator away from anyone”. Inequalities are therefore “constitutionally justifiable” in a transitional period. The Ministry of Health and Justice immediately contradicted it. So what is the position of the government?

Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe in the Foreign Office and like Maas from the SPD, had to row back for the minister on Monday. A joint certification would make sense, said Roth, and referred to the summer travel season. But a decision could only be made “in the next few weeks and months” when one knows the effect of the vaccine and when “significantly more people have been vaccinated”.

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This is what the team of the new CDU chairman looks like

Armin Laschet

Armin Laschet was elected the new chairman of the CDU with 521 votes.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin The new chairman of the CDU, Armin Laschet, will also be supported by five deputies in the future. Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn, who was previously a member of the Presidium, fought with Laschet in the team for his victory and was scheduled to be his vice-president in advance. So Laschet was able to unite the Spahn supporters behind him.

However, Spahn only received 589 of the 965 votes. Internally it was said that the supporters of the defeated Friedrich Merz had refused his vote. Others said that Spahn had received the receipt for not behaving fairly on election day: After the candidates’ speeches, he had spoken in the question and answer session and not asked a question, but promoted Laschet and himself.

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Party seeks chairman (new-deutschland.de)

At its online party congress, the CDU will elect a new chairman this Saturday. North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet, ex-Union parliamentary group leader Friedrich Merz and foreign politician Norbert Röttgen are running for this. The outcome of the election is considered completely open, also because the behavior of the 1001 delegates who participate and vote at home alone is difficult to predict. With the election of the CDU chief, the discussion about the right candidate for chancellor should quickly gain momentum in the Union.

The party conference should start on Friday at 6 p.m. Speeches and greetings by the outgoing chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), CSU boss Markus Söder and the EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) were planned. It is expected that none of the three candidates for the chair will receive the necessary absolute majority in the first ballot. In the second ballot that follows, a simple majority of the valid votes cast is sufficient.

In order to make the “digital preselection” legally secure, a postal vote follows. The result is to be announced on January 22nd. Laschet, Merz and Röttgen have given assurances that they will accept the result of the online vote. If you lose, you don’t want to vote by post, which is legally possible. CDU General Secretary Paul Ziemiak says he has no evidence that someone will run for chairmanship at the party congress at short notice.

The solution to the personnel issue after Kramp-Karrenbauer’s withdrawal announcement in February has been dragging on since spring due to the corona pandemic. A special party conference originally planned for the end of April and a party conference in December were canceled due to the pandemic in agreement with the successor candidates. dpa / nd

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Covid-19. Costa presses for single vaccination bulletin in the EU

Vaccination and economic recovery. These two themes dominated the conversations, this Friday, in Lisbon, between the President of the European Commission, the German Ursula von der Leyen, and the Prime Minister, conversations that mark the beginning of the Portuguese EU presidency semester.

The European leader – who was received at the end of the afternoon by the President of the Republic – was accompanied by several members of the European Commission – who met at the CCB with their “counterparts” from the Portuguese Government – and at the end, in a press conference, one of the themes were Pfizer’s delays in vaccine production.

The president of the Commission assured, however, that the pharmaceutical company will deliver the committed deliveries until the end of the quarter. “Today, I received the news, like many of you, that Pfizer announced delays. I immediately called the general manager of Pfizer and he explained that there is a production delay in the coming weeks, but he assured me that all guaranteed doses for the first quarter will be delivered in the first quarter. “

“It is good that you are aware that for us it is a very difficult situation, since the first doses have been administered and, four weeks later, the second dose of Pfizer vaccines will have to be administered. There is therefore also a medical need to keep what we agreed on, the planning we agreed on, and the deliveries. “

The President of the European Commission explained that the CEO of Pfizer “personally took on the task of reducing the delay and guaranteed that he will recover [do atraso] as soon as possible”.

“It was very important to send him the message that we urgently need guaranteed doses in the first quarter,” he said. Adding: “I think it is good that you are aware that it is a very difficult situation for us, since the first doses have been administered and, four weeks later, the second dose of Pfizer vaccines will have to be administered. also a medical need to keep what we agreed on, the planning we agreed on, and the deliveries. “

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Pfizer is also reducing delivery quantities for “three to four weeks” in Germany

economy Covid-19 vaccine

Pfizer reduces delivery quantities – Lauterbach criticizes EU failures

| Reading time: 4 minutes

Pfizer Reduces Vaccine Shipments

The US pharmaceutical company Pfizer is temporarily delivering less corona vaccine than promised. The reason is the rebuilding of a plant in Belgium. From mid-February, however, deliveries are to be increased.

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The vaccination campaign will not be expanded as planned in the next few weeks. The US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has informed the EU Commission about delivery bottlenecks for the corona vaccine. The Federal Ministry of Health regrets the delay.

Dhe US pharmaceutical company Pfizer will temporarily reduce the delivery of its corona vaccine, which it developed together with Biontech, to European countries. The Federal Ministry of Health stated that it took note of the information from the group with regret.

A message from the ministry states: “At short notice, the EU Commission and, through it, the EU member states were informed that Pfizer will not be able to fully meet the delivery quantities already promised for the next three to four weeks due to renovations at the Puurs plant.”

On Friday evening, Pfizer and Biontech announced: “As of the week of January 25, we will return to the original schedule for deliveries to the European Union (100 percent) and increase deliveries from the week of February 15 (over 100 percent) so that we will be able to deliver the full promised amount of vaccine doses in the first quarter and significantly more in the second quarter. ”The two companies did not provide exact figures.

Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) assumes that the short-term production cut at Pfizer will mean that Germany will initially receive a little less vaccine. “We assume that it will be slightly less,” says Spahn on a Facebook page. It is important that deliveries on Monday and Tuesday are safe first. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, the deliveries should still take place as planned.

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According to Pfizer, the conversions at the Puurs plant in Belgium served to increase capacity from mid-February. According to the company, all countries in the world except the USA are supplied from Puurs. Despite the delays, the company is keeping its delivery commitments for the first quarter of 2021, according to EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen.

She heard the reports and immediately called the Pfizer boss, said von der Leyen on a visit to Lisbon on Friday. He had assured that all guaranteed cans would also be delivered in the first quarter. He will personally take care of reducing the delay and catching up as quickly as possible.

According to Lauterbach, EU order is partly responsible for problems

For the SPD politician Karl Lauterbach, the delay shows errors in the procurement of vaccines. “This incident shows how important it would have been for numerous production sites to produce side by side in the EU,” said Lauterbach WELT. Because of the late purchases by the EU Commission, this is not the case.

In July, a “Europe-wide, state-funded production setup on suspicion” would have made sense. “That might have burned 10 billion, but then we would be safe and less dependent on a single Pfizer plant,” Lauterbach said.

also read

Everyone is fighting for the vaccine - and the EU and Germany do not always pull together

Political mistakes – a reconstruction

The health expert of the Green parliamentary group, Kordula Schulz-Asche, told WELT: “In our current situation, this news is hardly bearable and can only be accepted if a significant increase in production can take place after the renovation.” The question arises as to why with the necessary renovation work has not already started. She wanted to question the Federal Minister of Health at the upcoming special meeting of the health committee.

FDP health expert Andrew Ullmann calls for concrete figures about the delivery bottlenecks and transparency about the process. “Either the conversion of the plant is due to a bad planning by the company or to the late orders from the EU. Clarity is now required, ”said Ullmann WELT.

Six EU states responded to the bad news with a joint letter. Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania wrote a letter to EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides to appeal to the EU Commission to ensure that Pfizer and Biontech vaccine production is effective and that vaccine batches are delivered quickly.

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The fear of rapidly rising corona numbers has now given Switzerland a hard lockdown - like the rest of Europe

The Norwegian health authority was the first to inform about the delay. “The temporary reduction will affect all European countries,” said the authority on Friday. Information about the delivery quantities for the whole of Europe was not given, only for Norway: Accordingly, only 36,075 vaccine doses are expected for the Scandinavian country in the coming week, previously it was 43,875. This corresponds to a minus of almost 18 percent.

Many EU states also complain about the delivery quantities of the vaccine from Pfizer and the German Biontech, which are below expectations, as EU representatives told the Reuters news agency. In addition, there is uncertainty about future deliveries. At a meeting of EU health ministers on Wednesday, around a third of the participants would have spoken of insufficient quantities, said an insider who attended the video conference.

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“The trade agreement between the European Union and China will primarily benefit Germany”

FIGAROVOX / TRIBUNE – The investment agreement announced on December 30, 2020 between the European Union and China should not be considered only from its commercial aspect, analyzes Yves Perez. According to the economist, this agreement unfortunately commits us more than it commits China, and will primarily benefit the Germans.

Yves Perez is professor emeritus and former dean of the law faculty of the Catholic University of the West in Angers, author of Virtues of protectionism (The Gunner, January 2020).

The investment agreement concluded on December 30, 2020 between the European Union and China is only a preliminary step. It will only be ratified by both parties after a period of two years. However, it has already been hailed as historic by Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen. What should we think of this agreement and its real scope?

I propose to answer this question by analyzing it from three different angles of view. The first is that any agreement signed between a Western country and China is inherently asymmetrical. In other words, it commits us more than it commits China. This asymmetry is due to the very nature of the Chinese political and economic system.

The second is that this agreement should not be considered only under its commercial and purely bilateral aspect between the European Union and China, but within a broader, geopolitical and triangular framework between the United States, the European Union and the United States. China. The third is that on the European side this agreement will mainly benefit Germany, which has also put all its weight in the balance to obtain it.

Any agreement signed between a Western country and China is asymmetric by nature: it commits us more than it commits China.

China is used to signing a lot of international agreements, but then it applies them as it sees fit. Thus, when it was admitted to the WTO, it undertook to respect its rules. But, twenty years later, it is clear that it has not often done so. When it organized the Olympic Games at home, China promised, heart in hand, to respect press freedom.

Several flagships of European industry have passed under the Chinese flag

However, in 2020, it was again the country in the world that imprisoned the largest number of journalists. Finally, in Hong Kong, when the United Kingdom retired, it had agreed to apply the legislation in force. However, after the student revolt, she decided to implement her own national security legislation in order to restore order and crush the democratic movement.

But back to our agreement. Its stated aim is for the two parties to open their respective markets more widely to the other’s investments. Economic and trade relations between the European Union and China are already very important. China is the second trading partner of the European Union behind the United States. It represents 20.2% of Union imports of goods and absorbs 10.5% of its exports. On the investment side, the European Union has invested around 150 billion euros in the Middle Kingdom and the latter has placed on the old continent an amount at least equivalent.

Several flagships of European industry have passed under the Chinese flag: we can cite the cases of Volvo in Sweden, Pirelli in Italy, Club Med and Lanvin in France, and Kuka and Krauss Maffei, two German SMEs specializing in machinery. tool and industrial robotics. On the other hand, in China, European companies have to deal with a double constraint: create joint ventures with local companies and agree to transfer their technology to them.

China has also invested heavily in recent years on the development of bilateral relations with the countries of the European Union. Italy has thus integrated the Silk Roads project, making its ports of Genoa and Trieste available to Chinese companies wishing to set up in Europe. Athens has ceded the port of Piraeus to the Chinese carrier Cosco, which also took control of the container ports of Bilbao and Valencia in Spain.

This deal is a masterstroke for China in its trade war with the United States

Portugal, which received 6MM euros in loans from China, accepted in exchange the takeover by a Chinese bank of Felidade, the country’s first private bank. In addition, China Three Gorges secured its grip on EDP (Energias do Portugal), the country’s leading electricity group, despite repeated warnings from Washington. Finally, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe now hold an annual summit with China.

It is therefore also to regain control and avoid maneuvers bypassing China that the Brussels Commission has embarked on negotiating this agreement. Under the new arrangement, China will benefit from greater access to several energy and manufacturing sectors in Europe. For its part, China is committed to facilitating the arrival of companies from the old continent in new promising markets such as clean vehicles, health, finance and “cloud“. In addition, China promises to join the International Labor Organization (ILO) and apply its rules.

This agreement is a masterstroke for China in its trade war with the United States. Subject to economic sanctions decided by the Trump administration, China wanted to get closer to the European Union and take the United States from the rear. In Beijing, it is hoped that the Silk Roads project will allow the reconfiguration of trade networks on a global scale and end the hegemony of the United States. Before the Biden administration took hold, the agreement between Beijing and Brussels was already a failure for the transatlantic cooperation projects that Washington was sure to offer to its allies.

China will thus make it more difficult to pursue the trade war strategy launched by the United States. Beijing places itself in a position to fight or negotiate with the Biden administration depending on the posture that it chooses to adopt. In this sense, this agreement is indeed a masterstroke of China against the United States in the struggle between them for world hegemony.

In Europe, the winner is Germany, which has put all its weight in favor of this agreement

Germany wanted this agreement and it got it. Thanks to him, Berlin is repositioning itself as a key player between Washington and Beijing. German car companies (Daimler, Mercedes, Volkswagen) supported the conclusion of this agreement. The reason is simple. These companies now achieve a higher turnover in the Chinese market than they do in the American market.

In addition, the Chinese market, especially with the transition to hybrid and electric engines, offers them much more promising prospects. France, for its part, will be satisfied with more modest ambitions such as, for example, investment in Chinese retirement homes. This agreement also says a lot about the state of the balance of power between Berlin and Paris.

We are trailing Germany and, given the gaps that have widened as a result of the health crisis between our two countries, things are likely to worsen against us in the coming years.

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Corona vaccine for the EU: No talk of vaccination failure

Dhe EU Commission is making every effort these days to counter the criticism of its “vaccine strategy” with good news. On Friday, head of the authorities Ursula von der Leyen announced the EU order of an additional 300 million (and thus a total of 600 million) doses of the vaccine from Biontech and Pfizer. On Tuesday, the EU chief negotiator, Sandra Gallina, who was responsible for negotiations with the manufacturers, once again announced good news in the European Parliament’s health committee. The Swedish-British manufacturer Astra-Zeneca has now also applied for approval of its vaccine from the EU Medicines Agency Ema. Gallina said she expected approval on Jan. 29. She also reported on the conclusion of preliminary negotiations with the Franco-Austrian manufacturer Valneva with the aim of ordering 30 million fixed doses of its vaccine and another 30 million as options.

The EU has also concluded similar preliminary negotiations with the American manufacturer Novavax. Firm orders and options are planned for each 100 million cans. In addition, there is an order for a total of up to 2.3 billion doses – partly fixed, partly as an option – from six manufacturers: Biontech-Pfizer (up to 600 million) and Moderna (160 million), whose vaccine has already been approved, as well as Astra- Zeneca (400 million), Johnson & Johnson (400 million), Curevac (405 million) and Sanofi (300 million).

This order volume has long been sufficient for every EU citizen. For a quick vaccination, however, the speed of delivery is crucial. With regard to the Biontech vaccine, the Brussels authority has so far calculated rather cautiously that the order of 600 million cans will be processed by the end of the year. However, Biontech announced on Monday that by then one could not only produce 1.3 billion, as previously calculated, but 2 billion cans.

For the EU order, this should mean that the vaccine can be delivered faster than planned – even if neither side wants to commit to dates. According to information from the commission, it also plays a role that, according to an Ema decision last week, six and not just five doses per ampoule can be vaccinated if special needles are used.

Ordered more than the United States

The Commission is also hoping that Astra-Zeneca will be able to produce relatively quickly after approval. Its vaccine development appeared to be furthest advanced by autumn. There was then a setback in the clinical trial phase, but this has now been resolved. The vaccine is already being administered in Great Britain. The vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and Curevac are hoped to be approved in Brussels by April at the latest.

It is not only because of this positive news that the discussion about the EU’s alleged vaccination failure has calmed down. It also turns out that – contrary to what it was accused of last week – the EU is not actually ordering less of the Biontech vaccine than the United States. The United States had already ordered 500 million cans in the summer, but only 100 million of them were fixed, the rest as options. EU orders started later but now amount to the aforementioned 600 million, of which 500 million are firm.

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Germany guaranteed early on in the negotiations that they would buy up to 100 million – otherwise the order might not have come about at all. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) points this out in a letter dated Monday to all members of the Bundestag. Since the EU has increased its order volume to 600 million cans, Germany is entitled to 108 million cans – this corresponds to the German share of the EU population. There are almost 30 million cans of Moderna. The vaccine from the two manufacturers should be sufficient for all citizens willing to vaccinate – but not until the end of the year.

Priority for deliveries to the EU

There is no longer any talk of a bilateral extra contract with Biontech-Pfizer, with which Berlin allegedly secured an additional 30 million cans. This contract was apparently never finally concluded because it would have violated the European agreements from the summer. Now it is part of the increased EU order. Gallina made it clear on Tuesday that individual states could only conclude additional contracts with manufacturers when the respective EU order has been exhausted. “In any case, it is clear that deliveries to Europe have priority.”

Should the commission order even more of the Biontech vaccine, an additional German order would probably not be delivered until 2023 – and from today’s perspective would then hardly be necessary. In his letter, Spahn no longer refers to the German additional orders, but emphasizes that around 10.1 million doses of the Biontech Pfizer vaccine will be available by the end of March, and around 1.8 million doses of Moderna. Two doses of both active substances must be vaccinated.

Since the German additional order has now “disappeared”, the criticism of individual EU states about the supposed German special route has calmed down again. On Tuesday only a few Italian Lega MPs complained that Berlin had tried to use the thicker wallet. A number of EU parliamentarians were initially dissatisfied with the fact that they were unable to understand the negotiations with the manufacturers or the contracts transparently. But that should change on Tuesday: the first MPs could see the contracts.

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Astra-Zeneca applies for approval of corona vaccine in the EU

Dhe British-Swedish pharmaceutical company Astra-Zeneca has applied for approval of its corona vaccine in the European Union. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced on Tuesday in Amsterdam that a decision on the application for conditional marketing authorization could probably be made by the end of January. It has so far approved the vaccines from Biontech / Pfizer and the American company Moderna for the European market.

At the end of 2020, Great Britain was the first country in the world to approve the Astra Zeneca vaccine and has been using it for about a week. The vaccine is also approved in India, Mexico and Argentina.

In August, the European Union agreed to deliver up to 400 million doses of Astra-Zeneca’s AZD1222 vaccine. Overall, states have already ordered billions of cans. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen welcomed the announcement as good news. The EMA will assess the safety and effectiveness. “As soon as the vaccine receives a positive scientific assessment, we will work at full speed to allow its use in Europe,” wrote von der Leyen on Twitter on Tuesday.

How does the vaccine work?

The promising active ingredient AZD1222 is based on the weakened version of a chimpanzee cold virus. It contains genetic material from a surface protein with which the Sars-CoV-2 pathogen docks onto human cells. The agent works in two ways: It is supposed to promote the formation of specific antibodies as well as T cells – both are important for the immune system.

Initially, the company had to take criticism with its vaccine: There were concerns about the study design, and the high effectiveness of the drug had also been questioned by some experts. The group then followed up with further investigations. A big advantage of the vaccine is that it can be stored at refrigerator temperatures of two to eight degrees, according to the information. This makes it easy to use. According to preliminary data, however, the vaccine is somewhat less effective than the new types of mRNA active ingredients from Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna.

Moderna vaccine is probably the most expensive

At two euros per dose, the Astra-Zeneca vaccine is also significantly cheaper than the other preparations previously approved in the EU. According to information accidentally published by a Belgian government official, the Moderna drug is the most expensive at 18 dollars (14.66 euros) per dose. The vaccine from Biontech and Pfizer is therefore twelve euros per dose.

A good two weeks after the start of vaccinations with the first corona vaccine from Biontech and Pfizer approved in the EU, the delivery of the second approved vaccine from Moderna to the federal states and their vaccination centers begins today. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn expects two million doses for Germany by the end of the quarter and 50 million over the course of the year. As with Biontech’s vaccine, Moderna’s product is a so-called mRNA vaccine.

The EMA assesses and monitors drugs for the European market, including corona vaccines. Due to Brexit, the authority moved its headquarters from London to Amsterdam in spring 2019.

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Astra-Zeneca applies for approval of corona vaccine in the EU

Dhe British-Swedish pharmaceutical company Astra-Zeneca has applied for approval of its corona vaccine in the European Union. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced on Tuesday in Amsterdam that a decision on the application for conditional marketing authorization could probably be made by the end of January. It has so far approved the vaccines from Biontech / Pfizer and the American company Moderna for the European market.

At the end of 2020, Great Britain was the first country in the world to approve the Astra Zeneca vaccine and has been using it for about a week. The vaccine is also approved in India, Mexico and Argentina.

In August, the European Union agreed to deliver up to 400 million doses of Astra-Zeneca’s AZD1222 vaccine. Overall, states have already ordered billions of cans. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen welcomed the announcement as good news. The EMA will assess the safety and effectiveness. “As soon as the vaccine receives a positive scientific assessment, we will work at full speed to allow its use in Europe,” wrote von der Leyen on Tuesday on Twitter.

How does the vaccine work?

The promising active ingredient AZD1222 is based on the weakened version of a chimpanzee cold virus. It contains genetic material from a surface protein with which the Sars-CoV-2 pathogen docks onto human cells. The agent works in two ways: It is supposed to promote the formation of specific antibodies as well as T cells – both are important for the immune system.

Initially, the company also had to take criticism with its vaccine: There were concerns about the study design, and the high effectiveness of the drug had also been questioned by some experts. The group then followed up with further investigations. A big advantage of the vaccine is that it can be stored in refrigerator temperatures of two to eight degrees, according to the information. This makes it easy to use. According to preliminary data, however, the vaccine is somewhat less effective than the new types of mRNA active ingredients from Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna.

Moderna vaccine is probably the most expensive

At two euros per dose, the Astra-Zeneca vaccine is also significantly cheaper than the other preparations previously approved in the EU. According to information accidentally published by a Belgian government official, the Moderna remedy is the most expensive at 18 dollars (14.66 euros) per dose. The vaccine from Biontech and Pfizer is therefore twelve euros per dose.

A good two weeks after the start of vaccinations with the first corona vaccine from Biontech and Pfizer approved in the EU, the delivery of the second approved vaccine from Moderna to the federal states and their vaccination centers begins today. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn expects two million doses for Germany by the end of the quarter and 50 million over the course of the year. As with Biontech’s vaccine, Moderna’s product is a so-called mRNA vaccine.

The EMA assesses and monitors drugs for the European market, including corona vaccines. Due to Brexit, the authority moved its headquarters from London to Amsterdam in spring 2019.

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