On Tuesday, Emer Cooke, Executive Director of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will update Members of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee on the status of approving COVID-19 vaccines. They will also discuss the EMA’s recent evaluation of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
When: Tuesday 23 March 2021, 10.00-11.00 (indicative timing)
Where: European Parliament in Brussels, room Paul-Henri Spaak (3C050) and videoconference
You can watch the debate live here.
Following positive scientific recommendations, the EMA has authorised four vaccines against COVID-19 for use in the EU (BioNTech-Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson). Two additional contracts have been concluded that will allow vaccines to be purchased once they have proven to be safe and effective: Sanofi-GSK and CureVac (both under rolling review). Exploratory talks were also concluded with two companies, Novavax and Valneva. The EMA also started a rolling review of the Sputnik V vaccine (which is not part of the EU’s COVID-19 vaccines portfolio).
The EMA’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC), responsible for evaluating safety issues for human medicines, investigated whether the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine can cause thromboembolic events. The results were presented on 18 March 2021, concluding that the benefits of the vaccine still outweigh the risks, despite a possible link to rare blood clots.