EU Targets 70% of Population Vaccinated by July
The European Union (EU) is targeting to inoculate 70 percent of its population by the middle of July amid the continuous manufacture and supply of vaccines to its members.
According to a report by RTE quoting Internal Markets Commissioner Thierry Breton, some 53 factories are underway with the production of vaccines within the EU.
“Our continent is now the largest producer in the world after the United States,” Breton was quoted as saying in an interview with French daily Le Figaro.
“I am now certain of how many doses are currently in production and I know how many millions will be delivered each week. This allows me to assure you that we will have by mid-July the number of doses necessary for vaccinating 70 percent of the European Union’s adult population,” he said.
It can be learned that EU members have faced a public outcry over the slow rollout of their vaccination programs even as plans have raced ahead of the US and the United Kingdom.
For its part, the world’s largest economy has successfully given at least one dose of ordered vaccine to one-half of adult Americans. As of Monday, anyone over 18 years can sign up for a shot.
In contrast, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said that just over 20 percent of adults in the EU have received at least one jab.
Breton said that the EU would catch up in the coming months with a production capacity hitting 200 million doses a month by summer.
In another development, Breton turned lukewarm on the idea of the bloc negotiating with Russia for the supply of Sputnik V vaccine doses.
He said that the European Medicines Agency is evaluating Sputnik’s safety and efficiency, but “it still lacks some essential data.”
If and when approved, Breton said that the EU will have to find production capacity, because the Russians do not have large production sites and are looking for industrial partners in Europe which are already fully mobilized.”
“For all these reasons, I don’t think significant quantities of Sputnik will be available for Europe before the end of 2021,” he said.