The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is set to approve its first COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 23, putting EU countries on track to start to catch up with the United States and Britain, where immunization campaigns are underway. This was told by a German government source Reuters on Tuesday.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn told a news conference that he hoped the European Union approval for the vaccine would be in place before Christmas, clearing a path for inoculations before the end of the year.
The goal was still to have regular approval, not emergency approval.

“It will be the first regular approval of a (COVID-19) vaccine in the world,” Jens Spahn said at a news conference.

An EMA official said they were discussing possible dates before Christmas for a decision on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.