EU donates more than 200 million doses of vaccines to poor countries this year

UE doa este ano mais de 200 milhões de doses de vacinas a países pobres

The European Union (EU) will donate more than 200 million doses of covid-19 vaccine to low-income countries this year, the European Commission announced Thursday, when half of Europeans are already fully vaccinated.

According to Lusa, in a statement released yesterday, the EU executive indicates that "ensuring access to safe and affordable covid-19 vaccines worldwide, particularly for low- and middle-income countries, is a priority for the EU."

And two months after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pledged at least 100 million doses by the end of 2021 for these countries, the institution is today indicating that the EU, the community institutions and the 27 member states are "on track to exceed this initial goal."

In all, there are "more than 200 million doses of covid-19 vaccine planned to be shared with the countries that need them most, by the end of 2021," the institution adds.

Today's announcement comes at a time when an average of 53% of the EU's adult population has already been inoculated with two doses of covid-19 vaccine, having completed vaccination, while 67.4% received the first dose, according to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The ECDC's 'online' tool for tracking EU immunization, which is based on notifications from member states, also reveals that 167 million European adults have completed their vaccination schedule and 213 million have received at least one dose.

Currently, four anticovid-19 vaccines are approved by the EU regulator: Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine trade name), Moderna, Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca's new drug name) and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson group).

The donations now announced for low- and middle-income countries will be made under the COVAX (Covid-19 Global Access to Vaccines) mechanism until the end of this year.

So far, COVAX has delivered 122 million doses to 136 countries.

In parallel, the EU has launched an initiative for the manufacture of and access to vaccines, medicines, and health technologies in Africa, which aims to create the conditions for local production of these drugs, with financial support of one billion euros from the European budget and European development finance institutions such as the European Investment Bank.

As an example, Brussels recalls that this month the EU decided to support the establishment of a vaccine factory by the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, which will reduce Africa's 99% dependence on vaccine imports and will strengthen future pandemic resilience on the continent.

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