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The European Union has set a goal of inoculating 70 percent of its adult population by the end of summer.
European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday said that the European Union (EU) will receive 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses per month from April, bringing the total to 300 million doses for the second quarter of this year.
About 20 million doses were delivered to the bloc in January and 30 million in February, and some 50 million doses are expected to be delivered in March. She based her prediction on the production plans of pharmaceutical companies and the possible approval of new vaccines by the EU's drugs regulator.
The EU has set a goal of inoculating 70 percent of its adult population by the end of summer, Sept. 21. It had administered 29 million vaccine doses by the end of February, covering 6.4 percent of the whole population.
"We're looking at a doubling of doses per month in comparison to what we have in March. This is for the upcoming quarter," said Eric Mamer, the European Commission's chief spokesperson.
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Mamer declined to comment on whether the 300 million vaccine doses foreseen for the second quarter of 2021 would include deliveries from Johnson & Johnson, a vaccine manufacturer whose conditional marketing authorization is pending with the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
The EU started to roll out vaccines in late 2020 with the approval of jabs from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca. However, the launch was far from smooth sailing due to delays in deliveries, notably from AstraZeneca. "We expect all companies to deliver on their commitment as signed in the advanced purchasing agreements," Mamer said.
The EU's vaccine strategy authorizes the EC to negotiate on behalf of the member states with pharmaceutical companies to secure vaccines. However, the recent shortage of doses has pushed some member countries to sign supply contracts with Russian and Chinese vaccine developers.
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