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Vaccines against covid will be launched from March, says European agency

Illustrative image of the covid-19 vaccine, caused by the new coronavirus Image: Miguel Noronha / Futura Press / Estadão Contents

The executive director of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the Italian Guido Rasi, said on Friday that, “if all goes well”, the first vaccines against covid-19, a disease caused by the new coronavirus, will be available between March and June 2021.

“It is very difficult, almost impossible, to have a vaccine in 2020. If all goes well, in the first months of 2021 there may be three vaccines approved by the EMA,” Rasi explained to the television channel “Skytg24”.

Rasi explained that the start of a significant vaccination campaign should happen as soon as “the first doses, important for those who belong to risk groups”, are approved.

In addition, the expert stated that, from that moment on, “the availability of doses is expected to increase rapidly”, being sufficient to vaccinate the majority of the interested population by September 2021.

The director of the EMA defended that “the arrival of the vaccine will be the beginning of the end of the pandemic”, but detailed that only after a year of immunization campaign will it be possible to observe a significant decrease in the expansion of the virus.

Asked about the need for the use of masks after the vaccines were launched, Rasi replied that, “in principle, certainly not”, and that social distance measures should also be maintained until concrete data on the vaccine’s effectiveness in the long term emerge. and its performance with large-scale use.

Regardless of the results of the clinical tests for each formula, it is necessary to find out how they work “in practice. How many people respond to the vaccine, its intensity and how long it lasts”, which according to Rasi will take “at least six months”.

Regarding the use of different drugs for the treatment of covid-19, the EMA director noted that “there are at least two or three drugs or approaches that are certainly effective, such as the use, at the right time, of cortisone and anticoagulants”.

“Now the possibility of starting to use monoclonal antibodies, which seems to have been used by the White House, is also closer,” said Rasi, referring to the cocktail of the pharmaceutical company Regeneron that was used to help the recovery of the President of the United States, Donald Trump.

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