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EU commissioner: Vaccine will be 'Christmas present' for Europeans

BC, Riga/Vilnius/Tallinn, 16.12.2020.Print version
The vaccine against Covid-19 will be a "Christmas present" for all Europeans, European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas said in a Wednesday interview, informs LETA/DPA.

Schinas' remarks came a day after the European Medical Agency (EMA) said it would bring forward approval for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to December 21.


"The vaccine will be a Christmas present for all the citizens of our continent," the 58-year-old EU official told Italy's La Repubblica newspaper.


After EMA's approval, the European Commission will work at "supersonic speed" to give its own go ahead to the vaccine, which could come in a couple of days, Schinas added.


"We will do in two days the work that normally takes two months," he said, adding that this would allow EU countries to start vaccinating from around December 26.


Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland said on Tuesday they would coordinate the launch of their vaccination programs.


Schinas announced the commission would launch a public information campaign to support vaccination campaigns, and said he was ready to personally challenge virus sceptics. "I had Covid in October," he said. "If someone does not believe in the virus send them to me and I'll tell them what it means to fight hard against this disease in a hospital bed."


Meanwhile, spokesperson of the Latvian Ministry of Health Oskars Sneiders confirmed that the responsible services are working to ensure that the vaccination process in Latvia can begin as soon as the vaccine is available.






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