A corona vaccine at the end of the year? Chancellor Merkel and the head of the European Commission von der Leyen spread great optimism. However, EU leaders expressly warn against relaxing anti-corona measures too quickly.
Berlin (dpa) – Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) expects a corona vaccine to be approved in Europe in December or “very soon after the end of the year”.
“And of course the vaccination will begin,” the CDU politician said Thursday evening after a European video summit. “It must be said that the news of the last few days gives you great confidence in the development of a vaccine.”
After the summit of heads of state and government, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said vaccines from Biontec / Pfizer and Moderna, according to the European Medicines Agency, could receive authorization for placing on the conditional market in the second half of December if all goes well.
Mainz maker Biontech and its American partner Pfizer announced on Wednesday that the effectiveness of their vaccine was 95% – and therefore even higher than previously known. The vaccine works equally well in all age groups and other demographic differences and shows virtually no serious side effects.
The American pharmaceutical company Moderna recently calculated an efficacy of 94.5% for its preparation. The vaccine from Pfizer and Biontech is, like that of Moderna, a so-called RNA vaccine. It contains genetic information about the pathogen, from which the body produces a viral protein. The goal of vaccination is to stimulate the body to produce antibodies against this protein in order to intercept viruses before they enter cells and multiply.
The growing number of people suspicious of vaccines is alarming heads of state and government in EU countries. People need to be better informed about the value of vaccinations, said EU Council President Charles Michel. From EU circles, it was said that joint efforts should now be made in this area.