The EU Has Vaccinated 70% of Its Adults, but Wide Disparity Remains

  • The EU has reached its goal of fully vaccinating 70% of adults by the end of the summer, vaccinating over 256 million adults. 
  • However, wide disparity between countries remains, with 82.4% of Portugal fully vaccinated, and only a fifth of Bulgaria’s adults fully vaccinated.
  • In the US, 63.5% of adults are fully vaccinated according to the CDC, while 78.7% of those 16 and above in the UK have received two doses of the vaccine.

The EU reached its goal of fully vaccinating 70% of adults by the end of summer, according to the European Commission. In a statement released on Tuesday, it said more than 256 million adults in EU countries had completed a vaccine course.   

However, a wide disparity remains across the 27-nation bloc, with higher income nations in the Western Bloc having higher vaccination rates. 

For example, Portugal, Denmark, and France have vaccination rates of 82.4%, 83.5%, and 72.5%, respectively, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control vaccine tracker. But among poorer Eastern European nations, such as Bulgaria, Romania, and Slovakia, the numbers are much lower. The countries are 20%, 31.9%, and 49% fully vaccinated, respectively.

“The pandemic is not over,” President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said  Tuesday. In a separate tweet, she wrote, “we need more Europeans to vaccinate. And we need to help the rest of the world vaccinate, too.”

The EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, also called “to close the immunity gap and the door for new variants.”

The latest announcement came as World Health Organization’s Europe director Hans Kluge warned in a statement Monday of more deaths from COVID-19 in the region as transmission rises. 

“Last week, there was an 11% increase in the number of deaths in the region — one reliable projection is expecting 236,000 deaths in Europe by 1 December,” Kluge said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 63.5% of adults above 18 are fully vaccinated in the US. In comparison, 78.7% of those above 16 in the UK have received their second dose of vaccine, according to UK government data.

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