AstraZeneca vaccine hopeful to be green-lighted by EU in January

BRUSSELS, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Tuesday it had received the application for conditional marketing authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and it could make a recommendation by the end of January through an accelerated procedure.

EMA said in a statement that an opinion on the marketing authorization could be issued during a meeting of EMA's scientific committee for human medicines scheduled for Jan. 29.

Such a short time-frame for evaluation is only possible because EMA has already assessed some data on the vaccine during a rolling review, according to EMA, an authority of the European Union (EU) responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines in the EU.

Additional scientific information on issues related to quality, safety and efficacy has been provided by the company and is currently being assessed. Four clinical trials are going on in Britain, Brazil and South Africa, said EMA.

So far, the EU has granted authorization of conditional marketing for two vaccines, one jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech and the other by Moderna.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 236 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 63 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by WHO on Tuesday.

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