EU approves BioNTech-Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

EU approves BioNTech-Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Commission approved the BioNTech-Pfizer coronavirus vaccine on Monday. It means the mass vaccination of some 450 million people across the EU is one step closer. 

"We granted conditional market authorization to the vaccine produced by BioNTech and Pfizer," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement, just hours after the EMA recommendation to approve the vaccine. "I have always said during this pandemic that we are in this together."

The EMA recommendation applies to those 16 years of age and older, EMA head Emer Cooke said.

"It is a significant step forward in our fight against this pandemic, which is causing suffering and hardship for so many people, not just in Europe but all over the world," she said. "This is really a historic scientific achievement. Within less than a year, a vaccine will have been developed and authorized against a new disease," DW cited Cooke as saying.