- EU officials reportedly stated that only part of its population would be immunized by 2022
- European Commission and EU governments aim to innoculate 40% of the EU population at least initially.
- EU has already secured one bn. Doses of Covid vaccines for its 450 mn. population
THD NewsDesk, Brussels: Reports surfaced from the European Commission on October 26, informed that the European Union is not combat-ready to immunize its entire 450 million population. The EU covering of 27 European nations has warned that only half of its citizens can expect to be inoculated against the novel coronavirus by 2022.
The European Union is way ahead of other nations as it has already secured 1 billion doses of potential Covid-19 vaccines from three drug firms so far. However, the Commission officials said that there is a big chance that the investment might go to waste if the stockpiled vaccines are proven futile.
The other concern raised in the meeting was the unavailability of sufficient vaccines for all Europeans. Addressing this concern, the EU disclosed a few other deals in the pipeline that might secure Europe a billion more vials of potential vaccines.
“There will not be sufficient doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the entire population before the end of 2021,” stated a European Commission official.
Although the EU Commission had earlier warned that vaccines would only be released in limited numbers “during the initial stages of deployment,” it had never clarified the duration of the initial stage.
To cater to the entire population, the EU would have to obtain vaccines from a minimum of seven more vaccine candidates. It has struck a deal with pharmaceutical firms AstraZeneca, Sanofi, and Johnson & Johnson. Moreover, Moderna, Pfizer, and CureVac have also been taken in the loop for negotiating a profitable deal.
The argument that has now become the center of the debate is the lack of consensus among Commission officials on the implementation of the immunization drive. Regardless, the decision to prioritize health workers during the vaccination program has been agreed upon unanimously.
From July, documents of the Commission and EU governments suggest that the initial target was to administer the Covid vaccine to at least 40% of the European population in Phase-I. Unfortunately, it now seems uncertain that this target can be achieved by the end of 2021. Highlighting the insufficient stock of vaccines, the Commission has been pushing the EU governments to strategize vaccination programs for months. The Commission has strongly recommended the need for prioritizing vulnerable groups encompassing healthcare workers, senior citizens, and those suffering from serious illnesses. Further, few EU countries have expressed their desire to secure vaccine shots wishing to roll them out by mid-2021.