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The European Medicines Company approves the Pfizer vaccine to be used within the EU

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A health care worker holds a bottle of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Dignity Health's Glignale Memorial Hospital and Health Center in Glendale, California, United States on December 17, 2020.

Lucy Nicholson | Reuters

The European Medicines Agency on Monday approved Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine for conditional use, opening the door to a vaccination program across the European Union.

"The EMA has recommended conditional marketing authorization for the Comirnaty vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer to prevent 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in people aged 16 and older," said a regulatory agency statement .

"The EMA's scientific opinion paves the way for the first authorization for the placing on the market of a COVID-19 vaccine in the EU by the European Commission with all associated protective measures, controls and obligations," said the agency.

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Steven Gregory