Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the European Union had achieved the goal it had set itself: to have enough doses to vaccinate 70% of its population.
In total, 330 million doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine, 100 million of AstraZeneca, 50 million of Moderna and 20 million of Johnson & Johnson were provided by the program.
The European Union has reached its goal of having enough doses to vaccinate 70% of its adult population, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Saturday.
Responsibility for administering the doses lies with the governments of the 27 member states, and some are moving faster than others, but according to Ursula von der Leyen "the EU has kept its promise".
"Member States must do their utmost to ensure that vaccination progresses"
The EU's Joint Vaccine Purchase Program, managed by the European Commission, provided 330 million doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine, 100 million of AstraZeneca, 50 million of Moderna and 20 million of Johnson & Johnson.
All except Johnson & Johnson require two doses to be injected to achieve maximum effectiveness.
The EU has some 366 million adults.
"This weekend, we delivered enough vaccine to Member States to fully immunize at least 70% of the adult population this month. By tomorrow, some 500 million doses will have been distributed to all parts of Europe." , said Ursula von der Leyen.
According to Ursula von der Leyen, "Covid-19 is not yet defeated. But we are ready to continue providing vaccines - also against new variants. Now Member States must do all they can to ensure that vaccination progresses . Only then will we all be safe. "
Faced with the coronavirus epidemic spreading across Europe last year, the European Commission - which previously played a weak role in health policy - stepped in to coordinate a joint vaccine procurement program for members.
"The EU is up to the task"
The EU was initially criticized for its slowness to react and negotiate contracts with the laboratories.
At a time when vaccine production was still reduced, some companies, notably AstraZeneca, did not ensure the deliveries the EU had expected.
But when vaccine production ramped up, ordered doses started pouring in.
"The EU is up to the task," said Ursula von der Leyen, delighted that the target the Commission had set itself for July has been met.
"Our vaccination campaign has accelerated considerably since the beginning of the year. The common approach is a success. It is only together that we can emerge well from this crisis", affirmed the President of the Commission .
The EU is also contributing to the Covax mechanism to deliver doses to less developed countries and has pre-ordered vaccines for next year in anticipation of the expansion of new variants of the coronavirus. According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, only 44.1% of adults over 18 are fully vaccinated in the EU and the European Economic Area.