70% adults in EU fully vaccinated against Covid-19, Ursul von der Leyen says ‘must go further’
Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission on Tuesday said that 70% of the adult population in the European Union (EU) has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). Calling it a ‘great achievement’, she said more than 250 million people have now been immunised against the disease.
In January 2021, the EU had set itself a target of fully immunising a minimum of 70% adult population by the end of summer.
“I want to thank the many people who made this great achievement possible. But we must go further! We need more Europeans to vaccinate. And we need to help the rest of the world vaccinate, too,” von der Leyen tweeted.
Earlier in July, the EU said that it had vaccinated 70% of its adult population with at least one dose of the vaccine. Also, 57% adults were already fully vaccinated by the time.
Warning that the pandemic is not over, von der Leyen said people must remain vigilant and called upon more Europeans to vaccinate themselves. “We need many more Europeans to vaccinate rapidly, to avoid a new wave of infections and to stop the emergence of new variants,” she said in a video message. She called vaccination “the only way” for people to protect themselves and others.
She also vowed to support other countries in their efforts against the disease and in vaccination. “We will only end this pandemic if we defeat it in every corner of the globe,” she said.
The announcement came a day after the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday warned of 236,000 more Covid-19 related deaths across the continent by December 1, 2021, in a grim forecast. “Several countries are starting to observe an increased burden on hospitals and more deaths. Last week, there was an 11% increase in the number of deaths in the Region – with one reliable projection expecting 236 000 deaths in Europe by 1 December,” WHO regional director for Europe Dr Hans Kluge said.
As of Monday, 281,424,190 adults have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and 249,464,809 were fully immunised, data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control showed.