EU Secures Deal to Double Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Supply

Israel's health ministry authorizes use of Moderna's COVID-19 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.

France is seeking to vaccinate a million people before the end of January, to speed up a process which got off to a slow start.

The Moderna vaccine is the second to be approved by the European Medicines Agency, and von der Leyen's European Commission has organised a joint purchasing programme to provide doses for member states.

Meanwhile, CBS News reported that the US Food and Drug Administration has suggested UK's drug regulator may be gambling with public safety "by expanding the time gap between administration of the first and second doses of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine beyond that proven safe and effective by trial data". Most states initially reserved the vaccines for healthcare workers and people in nursing homes; some states have now opened vaccinations to all older people. "And therefore this brings certainty for the planning and it creates an additional momentum for vaccinations throughout Europe and for the neighborhood", she said.

"The Philippine government is in the final stages of negotiating for the supply of a minimum of 10 million doses of mRNA-1273, the company's COVID-19 vaccine, with the option to purchase an additional 10 million doses", Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez said in a statement released by the embassy. "And this is more than 80% of the European population".

Vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford received approval in December followed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE's shot.

Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides said that the vaccine authorization "will ensure that 460 million doses will be rolled out with increasing speed in the European Union, and more will come".

Early results of large, still unfinished studies show both the Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines appear safe and strongly protective, although Moderna's is easier to handle since it doesn't need to be stored at ultra-frozen temperatures.

COVID-19 vaccine scams are on the rise, according to European and USA government officials who are warning the public of fraudsters out for money and personal data. Now the good news is that we have agreed with BioNTech-Pfizer to extend the contract. France vaccinated around 500 people in the first week, while Germany vaccinated 200,000.

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