EU countries start mass vaccination against covid-19

A Europe-wide mass vaccination against the covid-19 virus started on Sunday (27 December) as part of an EU-wide effort co-ordinated by the European Commission. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Saturday the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had been delivered to all 27 member states.

The EU has so far reported more than 335,000 Covid-related deaths. More than 14 million people have been infected, and strict lockdown measures are currently in place in nearly all the member states.

The delivery of the vaccine kicks off a mass vaccination for the EU's 446 million people.

This comes after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Commission authorised the German-US Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The EU has secured contracts for more than two billion vaccine doses from a range of drug companies.

 "The #EUvaccinationdays are a touching moment of unity. Vaccination is the lasting way out of the pandemic," Ursula von der Leyen said.

The EU expects to get 12.5 million doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine by the end of 2020, and they will be shared between EU countries based on population. Each country decides who gets vaccinated first, with some prioritizing health care workers and others vulnerable groups, such as the elderly or people with health conditions.

source: commonspace.eu with agencies

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