Czech Republic Lagging Slightly Behind EU Average In Vaccine Rollout
Almost 69% of the adult population of the EU are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, close to the EU target of 70% by the end of August. However, there is significant variation between EU countries. The Czech Republic is lagging slightly behind the average, with 63.5% of Czech adults now fully vaccinated. Photo Credit: Freepik / Illustrative Photo.
Czech Rep., Sep 3 (BD) – According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, over 251 million adults in the European Union are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, or 68.7% of the population. However, this figure conceals significant variation between member states, from very high percentages in Malta (91%) and Ireland (88%), to much lower figures in Romania (32%) and Bulgaria (20%). The Czech Republic is slightly below average, with 63.5% of Czech adults now fully vaccinated.
“The EU’s strategy of moving forward together is paying off and putting Europe at the vanguard of the global fight against COVID-19,” said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. “But the pandemic is not over. We need more. I call on everyone who can to get vaccinated. And we need to help the rest of the world vaccinate, too. Europe will continue to support its partners in this effort, in particular the low and middle income countries.”
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, promised more EU support for the countries which are lagging behind in the vaccine rollout, as a matter of collective interest: “Our efforts to further increase vaccinations across the EU will continue unabated. We will continue to support in particular those Member States that are continuing to face challenges. We need to close the immunity gap and the door for new variants and to do so, vaccinations must win the race over variants.”
The European Commission signed a new contract with BioNTech-Pfizer on 20 May, which anticipates the delivery of 1.8 billion doses of vaccines between the end of 2021 and 2023. For the same purpose, the Commission has also exercised the option of 150 million doses of the second Moderna contract.
To help with the global effort against the pandemic, Member States have the possibility to resell or donate doses to countries in need outside the EU through the COVAX facility. According to the European Commission, European countries have contributed close to €3 billion for the COVAX Facility to help secure at least 1.8 billion doses for 92 low and lower middle-income countries. So far, over 200 million doses have been delivered by COVAX to 138 countries. However, many in poorer countries are warning that COVAX is not working well enough or fast enough to provide truly global protection against the pandemic, and concerns have been raised that this situation may deteriorate further as rich countries prioritise third booster doses for their own populations before unvaccinated populations abroad.