- The president of the European Commission said on Wednesday that the first vaccines against COVID-19 could arrive at Christmas
- “There is finally light at the end of the tunnel,” said the Commission
- The executive body of the EU has agreements with six possible vaccine suppliers and is working on a seventh
The first coronavirus vaccines in the European Union could be administered at Christmas, the president of the European Commission said on Wednesday, warning partner countries to urgently prepare their logistics chains for the shipment of hundreds of millions of doses, it reported. The Associated Press.
Stating that “there is finally light at the end of the tunnel”, Ursula von der Leyen told EU legislators that “it is possible that the first European citizens may already be vaccinated before the end of December”.
The Commission, the EU’s executive body, has agreements with six potential suppliers of the first coronavirus vaccines and is working on a seventh.
These allow it to acquire more than 800 million doses, slightly less than double the population of the block, which is around 460 million people.
Brussels announced on Tuesday that it will sign a contract to acquire up to 160 million doses of the experimental vaccine developed by Moderna, which according to the pharmaceutical company is 94.5% effective according to its preliminary data. But von der Leyen pointed out that while vaccines are important, “it’s the vaccinations that count.”
“Member states must prepare now. We are talking about millions of syringes, we are talking about cold chains, we are talking about organizing vaccination centers, states talking about personnel trained for them (…) All this has to be prepared ”, he warned.
However, Von der Leyen urged the population to continue to respect the restrictions, even if the measures negatively affect companies, cause more damage to economies already devastated by the pandemic and leave citizens with social and mental problems.
“With almost 3,000 deaths a day, COVID-19 was the leading cause of death in the EU last week. Hospitals are still under pressure and in some regions some intensive care units are saturated, “he added.
“We must learn from the summer and not repeat the same mistakes. Relaxing too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas ”, he warned, pointing out that“ this Christmas will be different and yes, it will be calmer ”.