EU cautiously optimistic thanks to Covid vaccine progress

Brussels, May 25 (EFE).- The president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday lauded the progress made in EU member states’ vaccination campaigns following a two-day European Council summit in Brussels.

Day two of the summit focused on the bloc’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and the climate crisis.

“We are on track to reach our goal to have enough doses being delivered to vaccinate 70 percent of the adult population in the European Union by the end of July,” said von der Leyen during a press conference.

“If we continue like this, we are confident that we will be able to safely reopen our societies so we must now focus on consolidating this progress,” she added.

Daily coronavirus infections and hospitalizations in member states fell significantly in May as the bloc’s Covid-19 vaccination campaigns picked up pace, according to the president of the Commission.

Some 245 million doses have been administered, meaning that roughly 170 million people in the EU have received at least one jab, which represents 46 percent of the bloc’s adults, she said.

EU states expect the delivery of more than 400 million doses by the end of June.

Von der Leyen emphasized the importance of monitoring more contagious coronavirus variants, which “will remain a public health risk”, adding that the Commission is working with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control to track the spread of more dangerous strains of the virus.

By 1 June, Brussels will have assembled the necessary technological infrastructure to allow the Covid vaccination certificate rollout from 1 July, as agreed by EU institutions last week.

Member states will have real-time access to the system by mid-June.

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