The EMA recommended that the vaccine be given conditional marketing authorization for adults aged 18 years and over.

"With a third positive opinion, we have expanded the vaccine range available to EU Member States and the European Economic Area to combat the pandemic and protect citizens," said Emer Cooke, executive director of EMA.

Troubles with the authorization of the medication developed by scientists at the University of Oxford and manufactured by AstraZeneca are the result of too few elderly patients participating in clinical trials of the vaccine. Although previous studies have shown that the preparation is safe for seniors, it is impossible to accurately estimate its effectiveness.

The EMA's decision was issued in an atmosphere of fierce dispute between the European Commission and the British-Swedish company over the supply of the vaccine. AstraZeneca announced last week that it planed to reduce the initial supply of the vaccine to the EU from a planned 80 million doses to 31 million doses. This resulted in harsh criticism from the European Commission.

On Wednesday evening, representatives of the Commission, EU countries and the company held a meeting on this matter, but it did not end with an agreement. The date of the next meeting the same group has not yet been established.