The European Commission has confirmed that 70% of adults in the European Union (EU) are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
As of today, Tuesday 31 August 2021, over 256 million adults in the EU have completed a full course of vaccination against coronavirus.
Seven weeks ago, the European Commission reached its target (ahead of time) of providing EU Member States with enough vaccine doses by the end of July to fully vaccinate 70% of the adult EU population.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, commented: "The full vaccination of 70% of adults in the EU already in August is a great achievement. The EU's strategy of moving forward together is paying off and putting Europe at the vanguard of the global fight against COVID-19. But the pandemic is not over. We need more. I call on everyone who can to get vaccinated. And we need to help the rest of the world vaccinate, too. Europe will continue to support its partners in this effort, in particular the low and middle income countries".
Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, added: "I am very pleased that as of today we have reached our goal to vaccinate 70% of EU adults before the end of the summer. This is a collective achievement of the EU and its Member States that shows what is possible when we work together with solidarity and in coordination. Our efforts to further increase vaccinations across the EU will continue unabated. 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".
The rapid, full vaccination of all targeted populations (in Europe and globally) is considered key to controlling the impact of the pandemic. To date, the EU has exported about half of the vaccines produced in Europe to other countries in the world. The bloc has contributed close to €3 billion for the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility to help secure at least 1.8 billion doses for 92 low and lower middle-income countries. Currently, over 200 million doses have been delivered by COVAX to 138 countries.
In addition, the EU aims to share at least 200 million more doses of vaccines secured under its advance purchase agreements to low and middle-income countries until the end of 2021, in particular through COVAX.
Given the threat of new variants, it is deemed important to continue ensuring the availability of sufficient vaccines, including adapted vaccines, also in the coming years. As such, the European Commission signed a new contract with BioNTech-Pfizer on 20 May 2021, which foresees the delivery of 1.8 billion vaccine doses between the end of the year and 2023. For the same purpose, the Commission has exercised the option of 150 million doses of the second Moderna contract. Member States have the possibility to resell or donate doses to countries in need outside the EU or through the COVAX Facility. Other contracts may follow.