THE European Union surpassed the United States in the percentage of the population that has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, greeted European officials, months after the delays in launching the immunization campaign of the people of the Old Continent, which had gathered.
“The European Union has now vaccinated most of its population with a first dose compared to the United States of America (55.5% vs. 55.4%)”, said the French Minister of European Affairs Clement Bon, in a post on Twitter. “We’re moving on, we’re accelerating!” He added, sharing statistics from Our World in Data.
The European vaccination strategy, which started at a slower pace compared to the United Kingdom and the United States due to inadequate doses, was criticized and debated in the first months of the year. The target was the European Commission, which coordinates vaccine orders for the 27 Member States.
“It simply came to our notice then. The EU overtook the US last week and became the continent with the most vaccines in the world. All this, while we export half of our production to more than 100 countries “, the European Commissioner of the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, also triumphantly stressed on Twitter.
“Effectiveness and solidarity – an achievement we can be proud of,” added the commissioner, who was tasked with increasing the number of vaccines produced and delivered in Europe.
In February, at the height of the controversy over “delays in Europe”, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had admitted that “mistakes” had been made.
“We underestimated the difficulties associated with mass production (…). We were over-optimistic and probably too confident about the timely delivery of the ordered doses,” he said.
But “the fight against the virus is not a sprint, it is a marathon that requires endurance and perseverance,” he added.