Health

Europe may reach public immunity by July


Europe is expected to reach public immunity in July as increased supplies of vaccines could accelerate the vaccination program, according to the EU commissioner.

“On July 14, people across the continent will have immunity against the virus. The only solution to defeat the pandemic is the vaccination and the vaccine coming into the hands of the people. We are in the phase of a sprint.” Thierry Breton, commissioner in charge of internal markets of the European Union (EU), said on 21/3.

This optimistic announcement comes as some European countries reimplement the restrictions due to concerns about a new wave of epidemics. More than a third of the French population is being sealed off. Protests broke out in Germany, the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Switzerland due to people’s dissatisfaction with anti-epidemic work.

The fight to stem the third wave of epidemics in Europe is compounded when several countries have suspended AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine to investigate post-vaccination coagulation cases. But most countries have restarted vaccination programs since the European Pharmaceutical Authority (EMA) concluded that vaccines are safe and effective, on March 18. However, the move is seen as belated, as the proportion of people who do not trust the vaccine has skyrocketed.

AstraZeneca delivered only 30% of the 90 million doses it promised the EU in the first quarter. European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen on March 20 threatened to impose an export ban on the AstraZeneca vaccine if the company does not deliver on-time doses.

Mr. Breton expressed his belief that there will be more Covid-19 vaccines in Europe soon. Between March and June, he revealed, 300-350 million doses will be provided. In addition, 55 factories based in the continent are speeding up production of vaccines.

One person was vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine at an immunization center in Berlin, Germany, on March 8. Image:AFP.

Mai Dung (Follow AFP)

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