EU Chief Says 70 Percent of Bloc’s Adult Population Now Vaccinated
European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said Tuesday 70% of all adults in the European Union are now fully vaccinated — more than 250 million people.In a video message from EU headquarters in Brussels, Von der Leyen called the milestone a “great achievement, which really shows what we can do when we work together.”But she also cautioned the pandemic is not over and many more Europeans need to get vaccinated a soon as possible to prevent new infections and the possible emergence of new variants.On Monday, World Health Organization European Regional Director Hans Kluge warned about the slowing vaccination rate on the continent over the past six weeks. He said those stagnating numbers have been caused by a lack of access to vaccine in some lower income nations and a lack of vaccine acceptance in others. He said only 6% of people in lower- and lower-middle-income European countries have completed a full vaccination series. And while nearly 75% of European health care workers have completed a full COVID-19 vaccine series, some countries have only managed to vaccinate 10% of their health professionals.In her comments, Von der Leyen also said the EU must help vaccinate the rest of the world by continuing to support the WHO’s managed global vaccine access initiative, COVAX, which gets vaccine to low- and middle-income nations. She said the pandemic will only end if it is defeated in every corner of the globe.