Brussels (Brussels Morning) A majority of the EU adult population — 70% — is now fully vaccinated, representing a total of 256 million adults.
The European Commission’s chief Ursula von der Leyen described the moment as a “great achievement”, saying that the EU’s strategy is “paying off” and placing Europe at the forefront of the global fight against COVID-19.
Still, von der Leyen noted that there’s work ahead. “The pandemic is not over,” she noted, “We need more.”
“I call on everyone who can, to get vaccinated. Europe will continue to support its partners in this effort, in particular the low and middle income countries,” urged the Commission’s President.
The Commission pledged to continue supporting EU countries facing challenges, but also to third-countries with low vaccination levels.
“Our efforts to further increase vaccinations across the EU will continue unabated. We need to close the immunity gap and the door for new variants and to do so, vaccinations must win the race over variants,” said Health Commissioner Stela Kyriakides.
So far, Team Europe has contributed close to three billion euros for the COVAX Facility, to help secure at least 1.8 billion doses for 92 low and lower middle income countries.
Currently, over 200 million doses have been delivered by COVAX to 138 countries, the Commission said.
The Commission maintains the need to continue ensuring the availability of sufficient vaccines because of the threat of the new variants.
On May 20, the Commission signed a new contract with BioNTech-Pfizer, which foresees the delivery of 1.8 billion doses of vaccines between the end of the year and 2023.