EU countries could reach vaccination target by end June, leaked Commission memo says
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EU countries could reach vaccination target by end June, leaked Commission memo says

Credit: Jonas Roosens/ Belga

Most member states of the European Union currently have enough coronavirus vaccines to fully vaccinate a majority of their populations by the end of June, according to a leaked document from the European Commission.

The internal memo, which was seen by Bloomberg news agency, stated that governments could reach the key vaccination target of 70% of the adult population earlier than expected if people accept the AstraZeneca shot.

It mainly focused on countries in the West of the continent, including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands, which it said will have the necessary doses to vaccinate around 55-60% of their population before summer starts.

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Although these latest reports indicate growing confidence in the campaign, another confidential document leaked to Bloomberg just five days ago noted that EU ambassadors had branded the EU’s summer target as “impossible to reach.”

The EU’s vaccination rollout has faced heavy criticism, including from the World Health Organisation’s European division, for its slowness and its failure to evenly distribute the vaccines across the member states.

Delays in deliveries from vaccine producers and ongoing concerns around the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine following reports of blood clots in vaccinated people, which resulted in several EU member states halting the use of the vaccine, played a role in the slow rollout.

The head of the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) vaccines strategy said on Tuesday that there is a clear link between the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and a rare blood clot in the brain, however, the agency has not yet updated its advice on administering this dose.

Belgium’s Superior Health Council will meet with experts from the Vaccination Taskforce and members of the federal medicines agency (FAMHP) to consider possible new information gathered by EMA and to discuss further use of the vaccine.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times