The EMA does not rule out a vaccine available in 2020

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A vaccine against Covid-19 could reach the European market in 2020, according to the opinion of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), in charge of the authorization of possible vaccines within the European Union.

"It is not excluded that in several cases an authorization will be issued again this year," an EMA spokesman told the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.

This is earlier than expected, according to the spokesperson, "but we are seeing advances around vaccines advancing rapidly. This is still the best case scenario, where we get all the test results before the end of this year is an absolute requirement. "

Belgium should get the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines by spring; March 2021 seems like a realistic deadline, Xavier De Cuyper, general administrator of the Medicines Agency (FAMHP), heavily involved in EU negotiations with potential vaccine manufacturers, said on Thursday in the Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws.

The World Health Organization says it will "not endorse" a coronavirus vaccine if it is not safe and effective, its chief executive said on Friday, when asked about concerns raised by the anti-vaccine movement.

"We have a good number of them that are promising. They will only be used when it has been established that they are effective and safe, which is what I would like to assure the world," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference, recalling that WHO and the National authorities will carry out the vaccine evaluation.

As the Covid-19 pandemic gains or regains ground in some countries, competition to develop a vaccine increases and concerns about its efficacy and safety rise.

"I want to assure the public that WHO will not endorse a vaccine that is not effective and safe," said the WHO chief. "When it comes to the anti-vaccine movement, you can make up stories to fight vaccines, but the results of vaccines used against other diseases" show another reality, "he said.

Earlier, the WHO announced that it would not expect a widespread vaccination against Covid-19 before mid-2021.

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