"I am pleased to announce that the Scientific Committee of the EMA met today and recommended a conditional market authorisation in the EU for the vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer.

“Our scientific opinion paves the way for the first market authorisation for a Covid-19 vaccine in the EU," announced the Executive Director of the EU drug approval authority, Emer Cook.

At a press conference since Amsterdam, Cook pointed out that the decision "is valid for all 27 Member States at the same time", and commented that it is "a significant step forward in the fight against this pandemic".

For this vaccine to start being marketed and administered in the EU, the European Commission must now approve it within 48 hours, thus allowing the vaccination campaign to start in the Member States from 27 December, as announced by the President of the EU Executive, Ursula von der Leyen.