Daily Management Review

European Union starts COVID-19 vaccination


COVID-19 vaccination with the first approved vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech began in the European Union this Sunday, amid previously intensified restrictions due to a worsening epidemiological situation.

EU countries could not start vaccination until the drug had been approved at the EU level. The European Commission on Monday accepted the first vaccine - from Pfizer/BioNTech - on the EU market following a positive evaluation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

EMA experts said that among the reported adverse effects of the vaccine were, for example, pain in the area where it was administered, fatigue, headache and fever. Usually, these symptoms were mild and lasted about a day. However, it is important to keep a close watch on the use of the drug and, if new side effects occur, to be able to follow them up promptly and take action, the EMA said.

The Head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that the vaccine would be available to all EU Member States at the same time and under the same conditions. The contract with Pfizer/BioNTech was to purchase 200 million doses in the EU, with an option to supply a further 100 million. In total, there are around 450 million people in the 27 states of the Union.

The total number of doses of the vaccine would be limited in the initial stages and until production could be increased, the EC wrote.

The drug was to be distributed gradually to the union states. The EC head said on Saturday that the first batches had been delivered to all EU countries.

The European Commission had expected that vaccination could start from 27-29 December. However, it is up to the countries of the union to decide on the start date of the process. It was reported that many states were planning to start vaccination as early as this Sunday. These include Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and Bulgaria. 

source: reuters.com