EU launches mass vaccination in ‘touching moment of unity’

EU launches mass vaccination in 'touching moment of unity'
A plane traced a syringe in the air above southern Germany on Wednesday to celebrate the arrival of the vaccine, a flightradar24.com image shows. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: The EU is launching a co-ordinated mass vaccination rollout to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, in what the 27-nation-bloc’s top official says is a “touching moment of unity.”

On Saturday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had been delivered to all 27 member states.

Some countries started administering the vaccine on Saturday, saying they were not prepared to wait another day.

The EU – a continent of 446 million people – has so far reported more than 335,000 Covid-19 related deaths.

More than 14 million people have been infected by the virus, and strict lockdown measures are currently in place in nearly all the member states.

The mass vaccination comes as cases of the more contagious variant of Covid-19 are confirmed in several European nations as well as Canada and Japan.

Mass vaccination across the EU began early on Sunday.

This comes after the European Commission and European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorised the German-US Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The EU has secured contracts for more than two billion covid vaccine doses from a range of drug companies.

Ms von der Leyen tweeted on Saturday: “Today, we start turning the page on a difficult year. The #COVID19 vaccine has been delivered to all EU countries. Vaccination will begin tomorrow across the EU.”

She wrote: “The #EUvaccinationdays are a touching moment of unity. Vaccination is the lasting way out of the pandemic.”

On Saturday, German Health Minister Jens Spahn described this as a ”happy Christmas message”

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio urged his compatriots to get the vaccine.

He said: “We’ll get our freedom back, we’ll be able to embrace again.”

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