Based on data relating to patients who received standard doses followed by second standard doses, the conclusion was drawn that the vaccine demonstrated almost 60 percent efficacy in the clinical trials, it added. "This is a race against the clock - we can not lose time because of vaccines not being delivered on schedule".
The frail and the elderly are first in line for vaccinations in many countries.
The EU has publicly rebuked AstraZeneca for failing to deliver vaccine shots as promised, with a shortfall of up to 60 per cent in the first quarter. Germany recommended on Thursday that the AstraZeneca vaccine should only be given to under-65s.
EMA's decision authorises AstraZeneca's vaccine to be used across the bloc, but individual countries can still decide how and to whom they will give the doses they receive.
With hospitals overrun and a more contagious variant ripping through the country, Britain has bet on giving more people the partial protection of a single dose, rather than giving fewer people the complete protection of two doses.
Germany has indicated it could follow a similar path.
The International Chamber of Commerce said the move risked triggering a chain of retaliatory action by other countries that would erode essential vaccine supply chains.
AstraZeneca would be required to provide further data from ongoing studies.
Russian authorities target ally of Kremlin foe Navalny before jail appeal
After taking office last week, Biden proposed extending the treaty for five years, and the Kremlin quickly welcomed the offer. Big Tech companies posed a particular challenge to "legitimate democratic institutions" over the next decade, he said.
The EMA's executive director declined to say whether the regulator saw a problem with such an approach. The German ministry of health has suggested that this figure arose from a misunderstanding of the vaccine's trial data by the newspaper.
The COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus known as adenovirus, from chimpanzees.
The European Medicines Agency has recommended conditional market approval for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
The EU accused AstraZeneca this week of breaching its contract by delaying deliveries while continuing to supply the United Kingdom, which signed its own deal with the company three months earlier.
The new rules, which will run until the end of March, will allow European Union states to block exports if a set of pre-defined criteria haven't been met, although officials were eager to point out that the move stopped short of blanket bans.
Health Minister Jens Spahn had previously said he does not expect an unrestricted approval of the shot.
Prof. MacCraith yesterday told the Dáil Health Committee that the Johnson & Johnson jab could be rolled out in Ireland as soon as March with the country already signed up for 2.2million doses of the vaccine, which only requires one shot per patient. The European Commission states: "This is justified as a safeguard measure pursuant to Article 16 of that Protocol in order to avert serious societal difficulties due to a lack of supply threatening to disturb the orderly implementation of the vaccination campaigns in the Member States".
The "vaccine export transparency mechanism" will be used until the end of March to control vaccine shipments to non-EU countries and to ensure that any exporting company based in the European Union first submits its plans to national authorities.