Vaccine rollout in EU set to speed up from next month, says von der Leyen
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Vaccine rollout in EU set to speed up from next month, says von der Leyen

Credit: Belga

The European Union expects to receive around 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccines per month starting from April, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

The EU’s vaccination rollout has been slow compared to those of the UK and the US, where around 31% and 17.3% of the total populations have been vaccinated, respectively.

“From April, the quantities could double again according to the manufacturers’ plans. We expect an average of about 100 million doses per month in the second quarter, a total of 300 million by the end of June.” von der Leyen told German newspapers Stuttgarter Zeitung and Stuttgarter Nachrichten.

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This increase will also be the result of more vaccines being approved, with Johnson & Johnson’s doses set to receive approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on 11 March.

Once approval has been granted, it will be the fourth vaccine to receive acceptance to be administered in the EU, together with AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNtech, and Moderna.

The EMA has also started to examine Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine following positive results from clinical studies in adults, which indicate that Sputnik V triggers the production of antibodies and immune cells that target the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and could help protect against Covid-19.

Around 5.34% of the total population in Belgium, around 340,000, have received either one or two doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times