European Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton has told the Irish government that at least twelve countries in the EU are expected to vaccinate 70% of the adult population by July.
Speaking to an Irish parliamentary committee, Breton said, “We have at least 12 member states who say they are fully comfortable WITH this 70% figure. This number is increasing on a daily basis.”
However, the commissioner did not detail which countries he was talking about. He also highlighted the responsibility of countries to prepare for mass Covid-19 vaccinations. “We are confident that we will be able to deliver enough doses but it is true also that it is up to member states to organize themselves to be ready for that,” he said.
Breton also made a point of commenting on AstraZeneca’s failure to meet its commitment to the EU. He claimed that the bloc ordered 120 million vaccinations in the first quarter but the company only delivered 25%.
Breton said the shortage was due to the company’s commitments to the United Kingdom, which has the goal of having every adult vaccinated by July.
The EU has ordered 180 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the second quarter of this year. As a result of distribution issues, AstraZeneca has committed to fulfilling a reduced target of 70% of the order.
Fortunately, the EU also has other vaccine providers. While there will be fewer Johnson & Johnson shots than anticipated, Breton noted EU countries will receive 50 million additional vaccines produced by Pfizer and BioNTech.
At the moment, 20.5% of adults in the EU have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Furthermore, 7.8% of those over the age of 18 have had a second dose.
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