EU approves Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

The European Union has given the green light to the use of a coronavirus vaccine made by US pharmaceutical firm Moderna.

The European Medicines Authority on Wednesday recommended that the Moderna vaccine be granted conditional marketing approval over a one-year period.

The European Commission immediately took procedures to approve the vaccine. It is the second vaccine authorized for use in the European bloc, following the one jointly developed by US company Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen issued a statement saying Europe will have "more than enough safe and effective vaccines for protecting all Europeans."

Both the EU and the governments of its member countries have come under criticism because supplies of Pfizer-BioNTech shots have been slow despite vaccination programs in place since late December.

Whether vaccinations will take place as planned remains to be seen as some experts say production capacities of the Moderna vaccine in Europe may be limited.