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The EU has fully vaccinated 70% of its adult population against Covid-19, 27-member bloc president Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday.

The EU had set itself the objective of vaccinating 70% of its population by the “end of summer”, initially implied at the end of September. Although the EU’s vaccination campaign has started at a slower pace due to lack of supplies, the bloc said in July that 70% of its citizens had received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

In a video message shared on social media, Ms Von der Leyen said that “today we have taken an important step in our vaccination campaign”.

“Seventy percent of adults in the EU are now fully immunized, which means 250 million people are fully immunized. It’s a great achievement, ”she said.

” But we must go further ! We need more Europeans to vaccinate quickly to stop the spread of infections and prevent the emergence of more variants. And we must also help the rest of the world to vaccinate. We will continue to support our partners, ”she added.

EU countries are struggling to contain the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, which has led to a spike in positive cases. Average daily hospitalizations across the block have increased by more than 100,000 for the first time since last winter, the BBC reported.

One concern is the contrast in vaccination rates between different EU member states.

While Malta has fully immunized over 90 percent of its adult population and Ireland and Portugal have administered over 80 percent vaccines, data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control has shown that the Bulgaria only vaccinated a fifth of its population and Romania only 30 percent. one hundred of its adults.

The World Health Organization on Monday warned of 236,000 more deaths in Europe by December 1 due to stagnant vaccination rates.

WHO Europe director Hans Kluge told AFP news agency that the Delta variant was in part to blame, along with “exaggerated easing of restrictions” and an increase in summer travel.

“Over the past six weeks, (the vaccination rate) has fallen by 14%, influenced by a lack of access to vaccines in some countries and a lack of vaccine acceptance in others,” he said. he declares.

The bloc recently recommended that citizens of the United States and five other countries be banned from non-essential travel within its member states. The guidelines also applied to Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and the Republic of North Macedonia.

The European Council, the EU’s decision-making body, recommended in June that the bloc lift restrictions on non-essential travelers from 14 countries, including the United States.

Europe has so far reported 64,991,125 confirmed cases of Covid and around 1.3 million related deaths.

The Independent Gt

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