The European Union on Thursday said that over 200 million Europeans have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), which is more than 50% of the adult population. However, the EU was still short of the 70% vaccination target it had set for the summer this year.
Dana Spinant, spokesperson for the European Commission, said, “As many as 54.7% of the adult population is fully vaccinated with either both doses or the single dose — in the case of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine,” citing the latest data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), news agency AFP reported. “We have 68.4% of adults in the EU who have already received their first dose,” Spinant further said.
Meanwhile, the ECDC’s Covid-19 vaccine tracker showed that 437,842,446 doses have been distributed to the member states of the bloc. Of these, 371,127,468 doses have been administered by the EU states.
The data also showed that 212,732,730 adults (above the age of 18) have received at least one dose of the vaccine while 167,310,628 adults have been fully immunised against the coronavirus disease in the EU.
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“We are now among the regions of the world that have vaccinated the most, but it is important that this progress is distributed in a more balanced way so that there are no pockets where the virus can spread and mutate,” Spinant told reporters.
Earlier this month, president of the European Commission (EC) Ursula von der Leyen said that enough vaccine doses have been delivered to the EU countries to achieve the target of fully inoculating 70% adults by the end of July.
“Target achieved! We have delivered enough vaccines to EU countries to fully vaccinate at least 70% of EU adults still this month. COVID-19 is not yet defeated. But we are prepared to deliver more vaccines. We will only come out of this crisis together,” she had tweeted on July 10.
Further, the European Commission chief also said that more than 200 million vaccine doses would be shared by Europe with low- and middle-income countries by the end of this year.
“Team Europe takes its responsibility in helping the world fight the virus, everywhere. Vaccination is key —that’s why it is essential to ensure access to COVID-19 vaccines to countries worldwide. We will be sharing more than 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines with low and middle-income countries by the end of this year,” Ursula von der Leyen said, a press release from the EC showed.
Earlier in May 2021, von der Leyen had committed at least 100 million doses to be distributed via the COVAX programme to the countries in need. However, in her latest announcement she said that the EU is on track to exceed this goal.
(With inputs from AFP)