Colombia regulator approves Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use

Covid vaccine

As millions of people await their turn to get a COVID-19 vaccine that could be months away, scammers online, in emails and on messaging apps are luring victims with claims they can deliver shots within days for as little as $150.

All of these vaccines require a second booster shot, but a first dose is likely to be given to as many people as possible.

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

EU countries started inoculating people with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine two weeks ago, after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended the shot's conditional approval under the brand name Comirnaty with an authorisation that allows five doses to be extracted from each vial.

Pledging that more brands will be given greenlight "in the coming weeks and months", Von der Leyen said the European Union has so far secured up to 2.3 billion doses from the most promising vaccine candidates for the European Union and its neighborhood.

That number has more doubled in the past week, as the CDC reported that 4 million doses had been distributed as of January 4.

President-elect Joe Biden, who received his second dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, has set a goal to distribute 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in his first 100 days in office. "And this is more than 80% of the European population".

"This vaccine provides us with another tool to overcome the current emergency", said EMA Executive Director Emer Cooke.

"The member states know it - so they know how to handle it, they know the logistics behind it".

The vaccine is 94% effective in preventing disease, including in the elderly. The company said it is "continuing to invest and add staff to build up to potentially 1 billion doses for 2021".

Moderna's vaccine, like Pfizer's, needs to be stored at sub-zero temperatures.

It is made by USA company Moderna and works in a similar way to the Pfizer one already being offered on the NHS.

The Moderna vaccine, an RNA vaccine like Pfizer's, injects part of the virus's genetic code in order to provoke an immune response.

Asked about vaccine scams, Pfizer said it had taken meticulous steps to reduce the risk of counterfeiting and tracked trends very carefully.



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