The Moderna vaccine against the coronavirus was approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the EU’s pharmaceutical regulator, on Wednesday.
Awaiting what is believed to be a quick authorization by the the European Parliament Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the US-developed inoculation will soon be distributed throughout the European Union.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, hailed the Moderna vaccine in a tweet Wednesday, calling the shot “safe and effective.”
We are providing safe & effective #COVID19 vaccines for Europeans.
We have authorised the @moderna_tx vaccine, the 2nd vaccine approved in the EU.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) January 6, 2021
In a statement, EMA director Emer Cooke labeled the Moderna vaccine a “tool to overcome the current emergency.”
Cooke marveled at the mobilization of the world’s best minds in developing the vaccine so quickly, stating that it is a “testament to the efforts and commitment of all involved that we have this second positive vaccine recommendation just short of a year since the pandemic was declared by WHO.”
Hoping to dispel any concerns about the vaccine’s safety, Cooke assured the public that the EMA “will closely monitor data on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine to ensure ongoing protection of the EU public.”
“Our work will always be guided by the scientific evidence and our commitment to safeguard the health of EU citizens,” Cooke affirmed.
After extensive research and testing, the inoculation was proven to be extremely safe and over 94% effective in protecting people over the age of 18 from contracting the virus after they received two doses of the inoculation, 28 days apart.
Moderna vaccine compared to Pfizer-BioNTech
The Moderna vaccine can be stored and distributed more easily than its counterpart developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, as it requires less frigid temperatures than the latter.
The Moderna vaccine can be stored at a temperature of -20C (-4F) for up to 6 months, and at 2 to 8C (35 to 46F), the temperature of a standard medical refrigerator, for up to 30 days.
However, the shot from Pfizer-BioNTech requires a frigid -70C (-94F) to be effective, and can only be kept in the freezer for five days.
Additionally, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine must be opened and diluted before use, and once diluted, is only usable for six hours.
The Pfizer-BioNTech inoculation, which was approved for use by EU regulators in December, has already been distributed across the EU.
Many countries have struggled with its storage, however, causing delays in administering the vaccine.