The European Commission will donate a further 200 million doses of vaccines against Covid-19 to non-EU countries by mid-2022, to speed up global vaccination, EC President Ursula von der Leyen said on September 15.
This is in addition to the 250 million doses of Covid-19 that the EC has committed to sharing, Von der Leyen said in her State of the EU address.
“This is an investment in solidarity – but also in global health,” she said.
Von der Leyen said that the EC’s first and most urgent priority was to speed up global vaccination.
“With less than one per cent of global doses administered in low-income countries, the scale of injustice and the level of urgency are obvious. This is one of the great geopolitical issues of our time,” she said.
She said that “Team Europe” was investing a billion euro to ramp up mRNA production capacity in Africa.
More than 70 per cent of adults in the EU are fully vaccinated, Von der Leyen said.
“We were the only ones to share half of our vaccine production with the rest of the world. We delivered more than 700 million doses to the European people, and we delivered more than another 700 million doses to the rest of the world, to more than 130 countries.”
She said that the second priority was to continue the efforts in Europe.
“We see worrisome divergences in vaccination rates in our Union. So we need to keep up the momentum,” she said.
“And Europe is ready. We have 1.8 billion additional doses secured. This is enough for us and our neighbourhood when booster shots are needed. Let’s do everything possible to ensure that this does not turn into a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Von der Leyen said.
(Photo: EC Audiovisual Service)
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