EU says 70% of population are double-vaccinated

70% double-vaccinated, EU
© Aechevaphoto

President Ursula von der Leyen announced that 70% of the EU population are now double-vaccinated – but some countries in Eastern Europe lag behind

Currently, Europe has cumulatively reached their previously declared goal of 70% double-vaccinated. However, levels of vaccination are vastly different across the bloc. For instance, in Bulgaria, the rate of double-vaccination is at 15.76%, while France is at a rate of 59% double-vaccinated.

Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “We will continue to support in particular those Member States that are continuing to face challenges. We need to close the immunity gap and the door for new variants and to do so, vaccinations must win the race over variants.”

“70% of adults in EU are fully vaccinated”

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen commented: “70% of adults in EU are fully vaccinated. I want to thank the many people making this great achievement possible.”

Professor Kalina Bontcheva, University of Sheffield and Claire Pershan, Policy Coordinator at EU DisinfoLab looked at the availability of vaccine misinformation in Bulgaria. They found that 97% of false vaccine posts on Facebook were available without the fact-check warning, as of 14 March 2021. Only 1% had been removed.

Misinformation is common in some communities, leading to widespread reluctance to take the vaccine – despite the widespread availability of well-researched information. Recently, a study conducted on 800,000 people found the COVID vaccine to be safe.

“These data should facilitate informed individual risk-benefit decision-making, and, in our view, make a strong argument in favor of opting-in to get vaccinated, especially in countries where the virus is currently widespread,” said Professor Ran Balicer, senior author of the study, and Director of the Clalit Research Institute and Chief Innovation Officer for Clalit.

EU remains opposed to intellectual property waiver

The EU further highlighted the role of the bloc in exporting vaccines to the Global South, claiming that it donated €3 billion for the COVAX Facility. COVAX is the World Health Organisation strategy for getting vaccines to countries which cannot afford to buy them, but it is currently vastly understocked.

To attempt to divert the flow of vaccine stock, the WHO asked richer countries to hold off on their third doses and let countries with low vaccination rates acquire the vaccine. However, most countries are moving ahead with their booster jabs.

The EU remains opposed to the TRIPS waiver, which would enable Global South countries to access the vaccine.


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