EU reaches milestone in vaccination campaign but target not reached yet
Sunday, 11 July 2021
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced yesterday that the Commission has delivered enough vaccines to the EU member states to be in a position to vaccinate fully at least 70% of EU adults still this month.
“By tomorrow (11 July), some 500 million vaccine doses will have been distributed right across the regions of the European Union,” she said. “The EU delivers. Our vaccination campaign has accelerated tremendously since the beginning of the year. Our joint approach is a success.”
She warned that, “COVID-19 is not yet defeated. But we are prepared to deliver more vaccines, including against new variants. Now, Member States must do everything, to increase vaccinations. Only then will we be safe.”
In January 2021, the European Commission called on the member states to speed up the roll out of vaccines across the EU and specified quantified targets.
By the end of March 2021, at least 80% of people over the age of 80 and health and social care professionals in every member state should get vaccinated. By summer 2021, member states should have vaccinated a minimum of 70% of the entire adult population.
The first target was not reached in time because of delays in the deliveries of vaccines and inefficiencies in the rollout by the member states. The second target will probably be reached in summer but the date will vary by member state.
The distribution of vaccine doses became more transparent in February when the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) uploaded a special tracker mechanism to monitor the deliveries and use of the vaccines. The COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker is an interactive dashboard that provides the latest data reported by EU/EEA countries.
According to the latest figures (10 July), 474 million vaccine doses have been delivered to the 30 EU/EEA countries, out of which 391 million doses have been administered. By now, 44,1 % of the adult population (18+) has been fully vaccinated. It is still far below the 70 % target which, everything equal, would require additional deliveries of doses.
Another issue which has not yet been addressed by the Commission is the need to vaccinate young people considering the more contagious Delta coronavirus variant which requires raising the vaccination target to reach group immunity.