BRUSSELS, Jan. 24, 2020 (Xinhua) -- Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) attend a meeting of the European Parliament Constitutional Affairs Committee in Brussels, Belgium, Jan. 23, 2020. Constitutional Affairs Committee MEPs voted in favour of a positive recommendation regarding the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, with 23 votes for, three against and no abstentions. It means Britain's Brexit withdrawal bill will head to a vote for all MEPs next week during a plenary session. (Xinhua/Zhang Cheng/IANS) by .
European Parliament (Xinhua/Zhang Cheng/IANS)

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have adopted a new regulation that will allow vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 to be developed more quickly.

The regulation that allows temporary derogation from certain rules for clinical trials was approved on Friday by 505 votes in favour, 67 against and 109 abstentions, following an urgent debate last week, Xinhua news agency reported.

Last month, the European Commission proposed a vaccine strategy that requests a temporary and strictly COVID-19-related derogation from certain rules for clinical trials of vaccines or treatments that contain or consist of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, proposes a major recovery plan during a plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. (European Union/Handout via Xinhua/IANS)

As national requirements to assess the environmental risks of clinical trials on medicinal products that contain or consist of GMOs vary considerably across member states, a derogation from these rules is needed to avoid significant delay in developing life-saving vaccines and treatments.

As of Friday, there have been 2,737,749 confirmed COVID-19 cases across the whole of Europe, according to the Statista online data collection portal.

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