EU says exports of COVID-19 vaccines now top 1 billion mark

The European Union says it now has exported over 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the rest of the world

Via AP news wire
Monday 18 October 2021 11:23
EU Europe Vaccines
EU Europe Vaccines

The European Union’s top official said Monday that the bloc has now exported over 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the rest of the world.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the vaccines have been sent to over 150 nations, making the 27-member bloc the largest exporter of the vaccines in the world, to nations including Japan, Britain South Africa and Brazil

Von der Leyen announced that, on top of the exports, the EU will donate at least half a billion doses to middle- and lower-income countries that are affected most by the pandemic.

She insisted other nations need to increase their effort, too, and she will use next week's G20 summit meeting in Rome to drum up support.

“We know that other countries also have to step up,” she said. “That's the only way to beat the pandemic.”

Even though some shipments were briefly stopped from leaving the bloc in March to make sure big pharma companies respected their contracts, the EU has been largely open to exporting, especially compared with some other nations like the United States and Britain.

Von der Leyen said that at least every second dose produced in the EU is sent abroad.

Now, she said, combined with the efforts of U.S. President Joe Biden "we aim for a global vaccination rate of 70 percent by next year.”

The group Our World In Data estimates that 47.6% of the world population has had at least one dose of the vaccine. However, it said there is a sharp contrast with low-income nations, where only 2.7% of people have received at least one dose. It lays bare an acute sense of vaccine inequality.

The EU has said that ramping up COVID-19 vaccinations around the world is the bloc’s No. 1 priority right now and already last month made a commitment to send 200 million more vaccine doses to Africa and other low-income nations.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in