EU expects to vaccinate majority by end-June – Bloomberg

(Reuters) -Most European Union states will have enough COVID-19 vaccines to immunize the majority of their people by the end of June, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday, citing an internal memo.

FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled “COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine” and syringes are seen in front of a displayed EU flag in this illustration taken, February 9, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands will be in a position to fully inoculate more than 55% of their populations by June end, the report here added, citing projections in the memo by the EU executive, the European Commission.

The numbers confirm public estimates of vaccines the 27-nation bloc expects to receive in the second quarter.

The Commission has repeatedly said the EU, with a population of nearly 450 million, is to receive about 360 million doses by the end of June in addition to about 100 million already shipped.

That would be sufficient to meet its target of vaccinating at least 70% of the bloc’s adult population by the summer.

The bloc expects to receive in the April-June period 55 million doses of the single-dose vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson, and another 300 million of two-dose shots from BioNTech-Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna.

It is however unclear whether all expected doses will be delivered in line with timetables. The EU received about half of the expected doses in the first quarter because AstraZeneca made major cuts in its supplies to the EU then.

The new estimates already factor in a further major cut in AstraZeneca supplies in the second quarter.

The EU has coordinated the purchase of vaccines with EU governments but has no power on vaccination plans, which are run by EU states.

Roll-outs depend on supplies but also on vaccination programmes, which have often been hampered in EU states because of safety and effectiveness concerns over the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The vaccine roll-out picked up in the bloc at the end of March after a slow start.

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