EU provides enough doses to vaccinate 70% of adults
The European Union has supplied enough vaccine doses for the coronavirus to member states to meet a goal of fully vaccinating at least 70% of adults in the bloc, European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement. on Saturday.
Von der Leyen, who tweeted on May 9 that the EU was on track to meet its goal of immunizing 70% of adults by summer, urged EU countries to increase vaccinations, saying that about 500 million doses would be distributed across the Union by Sunday.
“The European Union has kept its word. This weekend we delivered enough vaccines to member states to fully vaccinate at least 70% of adults in the EU this month,” von der Leyen said in a video statement.
“But COVID-19 has not yet been defeated. We are ready to provide more vaccines, including against new variants,” said von der Leyen, who was sharply criticized in early 2021 for failing to ensure that companies provided contracted vaccines.
The EU has a long-term goal of having enough vaccines to immunize the entire eligible population by the end of September, and said in May it was confident it had enough vaccines to meet that goal.
Von der Leyen added in her latest statement that the EU is ready to provide more doses, including vaccines that counter new variants.
The EU, which coordinates the procurement of vaccines for its member states, relies largely on the injection developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, but also purchases a number of other vaccines.
The Commission said last week that EU countries had ordered nearly 40 million additional doses of the vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson.
The Commission previously warned it expected the highly contagious Delta strain of coronavirus to become dominant in Europe this summer, citing estimates from the EU’s Disease Prevention Agency.
Recent studies have shown that the Delta variant reduces the effectiveness of vaccines against symptomatic infection, but two doses of COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing serious illness and death.