European officials OK Moderna vaccine for emergency use


The European Medicines Agency (EMA) today cleared Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, clearing the way for a second vaccine to be used in much of Europe, where the more transmissible B117 variant virus appears to be spreading quickly.

In a statement today, the EMA said the vaccine is authorized for use in adults and provides another tool for battling the pandemic.

Nations track B117 variants amid surge in Europe

In Ireland, hospitalizations have now topped the country’s first peak, according to CNN. Tony Holohan, MBBS, MPH, chief medical officer of Ireland’s health department, today warned that the country is in a serious phase of its surge and there is evidence of an increasing presence of the UK variant.

“All counties have an upward trajectory of the disease,” he said in a statement. “There is concerning escalation of admissions to hospital and ICU [intensive care units]. We are very likely to see escalating mortality and ICU admissions in the coming days and weeks.”

In the Netherlands, 50 B117 variant cases have been found so far, including 30 linked to an outbreak at a primary school near Rotterdam, according to a Dutch media report.

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