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The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved a vaccine against COVID-19 for the second time, it was announced on Wednesday.
The vaccine was developed by the American Moderna and, after approval from the European Commission, can be used in the European Union, just like the Pfizer vaccine.
The Moderna vaccine has previously been approved by the US and UK drug authorities.
The corona vaccine is expected to protect 94 percent of vaccinees against COVID-19.
Previous research showed that the vaccine, with an effectiveness of 86 percent, also works well in people over 65.
Can be kept at refrigerator temperature for up to thirty days
A major advantage of the Moderna vaccine over the Pfizer vaccine is that it only needs to be stored at about -20, with the Pfizer vaccine this is -70.
In addition, once thawed, the Moderna vaccine will keep for another thirty days at refrigerator temperature, whereas with the Pfizer vaccine it is only five days.
This is likely to make Moderna's vaccine easier to transport and store in places where large numbers of people are not vaccinated, such as nursing homes and general practices.
Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) wrote in a letter on Monday that the Moderna vaccine will be used to vaccinate the residents of nursing homes and institutions for the mentally disabled.
The Netherlands has signed a contract with Moderna through the European Commission for 6.2 million doses.
Because everyone needs two doses, it can vaccinate 3.1 million people against COVID-19.
Moderna is expected to deliver 390,000 doses in the first quarter of this year.
See also: Reader Questions: How Do Pfizer, Moderna and CureVac RNA Vaccines Work?
EMA gives conditional approval
In Europe, the Moderna vaccine, like the Pfizer vaccine, is getting conditional approval.
This means that according to the EMA, it has been well enough demonstrated that this vaccine is safe and effective.
For a conditional admission less data is needed than a full admission and this takes less time for this reason.
After conditional authorization, the vaccine developer is obliged to continue to provide additional data on, for example, the effectiveness of the vaccine in certain age groups.
The European Commission has yet to officially approve the Moderna vaccine before it can actually be used in the EU.
This can go very quickly: with the Pfizer vaccine, this happened just hours after approval by the EMA.