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Pandemic Solved? EU Chief Says Bloc Has Reached Covid Vaccination Goals Despite Spike in Cases

© AP Photo / Christophe EnaIn this file photo dated Sunday, April 4, 2021, a member of the medical staff prepares a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, at a vaccination site in Sarcelles, outside Paris
In this file photo dated Sunday, April 4, 2021, a  member of the medical staff prepares a dose of the  Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, at a vaccination site in Sarcelles, outside Paris - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.07.2021
In recent weeks, nations with some of the highest levels of vaccination against Sars-CoV-2 have reported an unexpected spike in infections and reinfections, with authorities attributing them to the new, more infectious strain of the virus known as the Delta variant.
The European Union has reached its set vaccination targets, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen has said.
“The EU has kept its word and delivered. Our target was to protect 70% of adults in the European Union with at least one dose of vaccination in July. Today we have achieved this target,” von der Leyen said in a video address on Tuesday.
The EC chief said that 57 percent of adults in the bloc now have the “full protection of double vaccination,” putting Europe “among the world leaders” in this regard.
Despite the success of the vaccination campaign, von der Leyen urged governments and the public not to let their guard down until everyone who can be vaccinated is jabbed. “The Delta variant is very dangerous and I therefore call on everyone who has the opportunity to be vaccinated for their own health and to protect others,” she said.
The politician also stressed that the EU’s citizens could “rest assured” that the bloc would continue to ensure sufficient volumes of vaccines. The bloc has shelled out billions of euros to buy Covid vaccines produced by BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and has reserved right to buy 1.8 billion doses from Pfizer in May on top of hundreds of millions of doses previously ordered, giving the bloc the capacity to double vax all adults several times over.
The EU’s vaccination rates are among the highest in the world, but are higher in the UK, which recently left the bloc. In Britain, 70.5% of adults have received both doses of the vaccine, and 88.1% have received at least one dose. In the US, 60 percent of adults are fully vaccinated and 69 percent have been administered at least one jab. Israel, one of the earliest and most proactive vaccinators, about 61 percent has been doubled jabbed.

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Despite these data, and the protection against Covid that vaccinations are supposed to provide, virtually all of these regions and nations have faced a spike in infections in recent weeks, with health authorities attributing them to the Delta variant –said to be more virulent but also potentially less lethal than other strains.

Iceland, for example, has fully vaccinated 74.33 percent of its adult population, with another 4.15 percent getting the jab, for a total of 78.48 percent. However, Sputnik reported Monday that the island nation had been put into partial lockdown barely four weeks after lifting all restrictions amid an exponential growth in cases.
Denmark, which has partially or fully vaccinated 70.76 percent of adults, has suffered a similar spike in cases, with the country’s State Serum Institute warning that some 22 percent of those infected with the Delta variant have a corona pass, the country’s official vaccination passport required to visit gyms, indoor sports events, restaurants, bars and other public venues, which is handed to people with at least one vaccine dose. Delta is said to account for over 91 percent of all new cases in that Scandinavian nation.
Bloc-wide, data provided by 28 countries reporting to the European office of the World Health Organization and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control says that Delta accounts for a whopping 68.3 percent of all newly reported cases.
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Health authorities and vaccine producers insist that vaccinations are the reason the latest spike in infections has caused fewer hospitalizations and fatalities than previous waves, and have called on all citizens who can to get vaccinated and revaccinated, with EU regulars now even considering vaccine booster shots. Some countries have also begun controversial experiments in the vaccination of teens and children, despite extremely low rates of symptomatic infections and complications among young people who get ill.
Exhaustion over health restrictions and uncertainties over the effectiveness of public health measures has sparked mass protests in some countries, including France, Italy, Australia, and Greece, where government efforts to mandate vaccinations (and in France’s case to scrap free Covid testing) have led tens of thousands of people spilling into the streets in recent days.
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