EU warned of 236,000 Covid deaths by December – after VDL boasts of hitting vaccine target
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Hans Kluge, the WHO’s Europe director, warned that a “lack of access to vaccines in some countries” and “vaccine scepticism and science denial” could lead to 236,000 more Covid deaths by the end of the year. He said the situation is “deeply worrying”, especially in low-income countries in central and eastern Europe. This will come to worrying news for Europeans despite EU chief Ursula von der Leyen proclaiming the bloc has reached a target set at the beginning of the year.
The European Commission President said: “Seventy percent of adults in EU are fully vaccinated.
“I want to thank the many people making this great achievement possible.”
In January, eurocrats said that “by summer 2021, member states should have vaccinated a minimum of 70 percent of the adult population”.
This target was put under significant pressure by a lack of supplies secured by the Brussels-led vaccination rollout and safety concerns over the AstraZeneca jab.
But member states have been able to massively ramp up their roll outs as the months have gone on.
However, Mrs von der Leyen’s announcement marks the huge differences among individual EU countries.
Some nations are comfortably exceeding the 70 percent goal, while others in the poorer eastern region of the bloc are far behind.
While at least 255 million people have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus, the situation differs massively between countries.
Malta has fully vaccinated over 90 percent of its adult population, according to the European Centre for Disease prevention and Control.
Ireland and Portugal have immunised more than 80 percent of their adult population, while France is about 70 percent, data from the EU agency shows.
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But in the east, Bulgaria has only vaccinated just one-fifth of its adult population, and Romania about 30 percent of adults.
Croatia, Latvia, Slovenia and Slovakia are also lagging behind their western partners, having jaded about half of their adult populations.
Mrs von der Leyen said: “We must go further!
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“We need more Europeans to vaccinate. And we need to help the rest of the world vaccinate, too.”
Brussels has conceded that there is a “worrying gap” in vaccination rates between member states.
National authorities have been urged to be ready for the injection of new booster doses to bolster immunity if scientific data confirms it is needed.
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