EU says it has reached goal of vaccinating 70% of adults

BRUSSELS, Aug 31 (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Tuesday that 70% of the European Union’s adult population had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, hitting a target it set at the beginning of the year.

The announcement marks a milestone in the EU vaccination strategy after a slow start, but it also masks big differences among EU countries, with some nations exceeding the 70% goal, while others in the poorer eastern region of the bloc are far behind.

“70% of adults in EU are fully vaccinated. I want to thank the many people making this great achievement possible,” the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter.

A woman receives a dose of Pfizer’s BioNTech vaccine during the campaign against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the 20-29 age group at the City of Arts and Sciences vaccination centre in Valencia, Spain, July 28, 2021. REUTERS/Eva Manez

In January, the Commission said that “by summer 2021, member states should have vaccinated a minimum of 70% of the adult population.”

This was interpreted as meaning that each of the 27 EU member states should hit that target by September. Many, fearing they could not, criticised the Commission in internal meetings, documents seen by Reuters showed. read more