The EU has reached a crucial milestone with 70 percent of the adult population now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus (Covid-19), the European Commission said on Tuesday.
In total, by August 31, over 256 million adults in the EU had received a full vaccine course.
Commenting on the news, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen referred to a “great achievement” and underlined that the EU’s strategy of moving forward together is paying off and putting Europe at the vanguard of the global fight against Covid-19.
“But the pandemic is not over. We need more. I call on everyone who can to get vaccinated. And we need to help the rest of the world vaccinate, too. Europe will continue to support its partners in this effort, in particular the low and middle income countries,” she said.
70% of adults in EU are fully vaccinated.
I want to thank the many people making this great achievement possible.
But we must go further!
We need more Europeans to vaccinate. And we need to help the rest of the world vaccinate, too.
We’ll continue supporting our partners. pic.twitter.com/VxdvZlrwYv
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) August 31, 2021
According to the Commission, the rapid, full vaccination of all targeted populations – in Europe and globally – is key to controlling the impact of the pandemic.
“The EU has been leading the multilateral response. The EU has exported about half of the vaccines produced in Europe to other countries in the world, as much as it has delivered for its citizens,” the Commission said.
Given the threat of new variants, the Commission said it is important to continue ensuring the availability of sufficient vaccines, including adapted vaccines, also in the coming years.
For this reason the Commission signed a new contract with BioNTech-Pfizer on May 20, which foresees the delivery of 1.8 billion doses of vaccines between the end of the year and 2023. For the same purpose, the Commission has also exercised the option of 150 million doses of the second Moderna contract.
“A safe and effective vaccine is our best chance to beat coronavirus and return to our normal lives,” the Commission said.
The European Commission has secured up to 4.6 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines so far and negotiations are underway for additional doses. At the same time, the Commission has started work to tackle new variants, aiming to rapidly develop and produce effective vaccines against these variants on a large scale.