The European Union has reached its target of 70% of fully vaccinated adults, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Tuesday (August 31), on Twitter. The EU hoped to achieve this level of immunization coverage for over 18s before the end of the summer.
Most “We must go further! More Europeans need to be vaccinated ”, estimated Mme von der Leyen. Besides, “We must support vaccination in the rest of the world with our partners”, she added, while the EU is participating in particular in the Covax mechanism which aims to provide vaccines to the poorest countries.
70% of adults in the EU are fully vaccinated. Thank you to everyone who made this success possible. New … https://t.co/0MhIHCfdAR
The European Commission, responsible for vaccine pre-orders to laboratories, had already announced on July 27 that 70% of the adult population in the EU had received at least one dose. Four vaccines have been authorized in the EU by the European Medicines Agency: those from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca (two doses needed) and Johnson & Johnson (one injection).
Fear of 236,000 more dead in Europe
“We can be proud that our vaccine strategy has achieved its goal, with the participation of Member States and citizens, commented Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides. But we cannot stop there. To be safe, we have to go beyond 70% because of the new variants. (…) To get out of the pandemic, we must vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. “
The Delta variant, first identified in India and now dominant, is about 40% to 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant. People infected with the Delta variant are twice as likely to be hospitalized for Covid-19 as those infected with the Alpha variant, according to a British study published on Saturday.
The World Health Organization fears that the pandemic will kill 236,000 more in Europe by the 1is December, expressing concern about the stagnation of the pace of vaccinations on the continent. The Health Commissioner stressed the need for the EU to reduce “The disturbing gap” vaccination rates between member states and to be ready for the injection of a new dose to strengthen immunity if “Scientific data shows this is the way to go”.