European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday that the EU’s priority for the next 12 months would be to “accelerate vaccination at a global level”. With 70% of the bloc’s population vaccinated, the Commission wants to focus on the international dimension, without forgetting the differences in the process between member states.
“Our main priority now is to accelerate vaccination globally. With less than 1% of doses globally distributed in developing countries, the scale of urgency is evident.” , said Ursula von der Leyen, at the debate on the State of the Union in Strasbourg.
Despite criticism of the European vaccination process (which began later than that of the United Kingdom, for example), Ursula von der Leyen asserted that “Europe is showing itself today as a world leader”. More than 70% of Europe’s population is “already fully vaccinated” and the European Union was the only region “sharing half of vaccine production with the rest of the world”. Brussels will invest 1 billion euros to develop vaccine production capacity with Africa, the continent to which the 27 member states have already sent 250 million doses of vaccines. By the end of next year, UNHCR hopes to send another 200 million doses to the African continent.
“This is an investment in solidarity and global health,” Ursula von der Leyen stressed. We must do everything so that this does not turn into an unvaccinated pandemic.”
Internally, the European Commission is also committed to correcting the disparities that exist in the vaccination process. “There are worrying differences between member states on vaccination, which deserve our attention,” said the head of the European Executive.
Ursula von der Leyen added that the 27 member states have “a guaranteed 100 million more doses” for the coming months, should a third dose of the vaccine be needed. “This is enough for us and for the neighboring countries,” he stressed.
“Writer. Analyst. Avid travel maven. Devoted twitter guru. Unapologetic pop culture expert. General zombie enthusiast.”