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UPDATE 1-French medical regulator to decide on COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 24

* French regulator to give update on vaccine on Dec. 24

* France hoping to start vaccination programme on Dec. 26 (Adds detail on timing)

PARIS, Dec 22 (Reuters) - French medical regulator HAS said on Tuesday it would decide on Dec. 24 whether to approve the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech for France’s vaccination rollout, after the European Medicines Agency gave its go-ahead.

The European Union is gearing up for a vaccination campaign of unprecedented scale following regulatory approval for the shot on Monday.

France is planning to start its vaccination programme on Sunday.

Health Minister Olivier Veran said earlier on Tuesday that HAS was set to give approval to COVID-19 vaccines by Dec. 26.

Veran reiterated that as of now, there was no evidence that the new variant of the coronavirus detected in Britain was circulating in France. (Reporting by Matthieu Protard; Editing by Alison Williams)

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