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President von der Leyen: Aim to vaccinate 70% of our adult population by summer

The European Commission has presented a new series of actions to combat coronavirus, two days before the video conference of the leaders of the Member States on COVID…………

The vice-president of the Commission, Margaritis Schoinas, stressed that "the emergence of new mutations in the virus and the significant increase in cases leave us no room for complacency. Now, More than ever, there must again be determination from Europe to act together, with section, coordination and vigilance. "Our proposals today aim to protect more lives and livelihoods later and to alleviate the burden of already depressed health care systems and workers.".

"This is how the EU will get out of the crisis. The end of the pandemic is visible even though it has not yet arrived " write down.

The Commission, according to an announcement, Calls on the Member States to speed up the introduction of vaccination throughout the EU. By March 2021, at least the 80% of people over 80 years and 80% health and social care professionals in each Member State should be vaccinated. Until the summer 2021, Member States should have vaccinated at least 70% of the adult population.

Alongside, The Commissioner for the Promotion of the European Lifestyle underlined that "the more people are vaccinated, Vaccination registration and mutual recognition are of great importance ", noting that" vaccination certificates allow the existence of a record of each citizen's vaccination history, so that there is the right medical sequence ".

"A common European approach to trust, valid and verifiable certificates, allow citizens to use their registers in other Member States. They will also open the door to other uses to remove the restrictions "noted Margaritis Schoinas. He added that "vaccination certificates must be registered. It will benefit all citizens in the EU. ".

The Commission calls on the states- Member States to continue to apply physical distances, to limit social contacts, To combat misinformation, coordinate travel restrictions, increase tests and contact tracking and genome sequencing, to address the risk of new mutations in the virus. As in recent weeks there has been an upward trend in case numbers, More needs to be done to support healthcare systems and tackle COVID fatigue in the coming months, accelerating vaccinations in all areas, assisting our partners in the Western Balkans, southern and eastern neighborhood and in Africa.

President Ursula von der Leyen noted, that "Vaccination is necessary to recover our lives gradually. We have already secured several vaccines for the entire population of the European Union. We must now speed up delivery and vaccination. Our goal is to vaccinate the 70% of our adult population by summer. This could be a turning point in the fight against this virus. However, we will only end this pandemic when everyone in the world has access to vaccines. We will step up our efforts to help provide vaccines for our neighbors and partners worldwide.

Today's Communication sets out key actions for states- States, the Commission, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Medicines Agency (MOTHER) that will help reduce the risks and control the virus:

1) Accelerate vaccination availability across the EU.

Until March 2021, at least the 80% of people over 80 years and 80% health and social care professionals in each Member State, should be vaccinated.

Until the summer 2021, Member States should have vaccinated 70% of the entire adult population.

The committee, Member States and the European Medicines Agency will work with companies to make full use of the EU's full potential for increased vaccine production capacity. Alongside, the Commission shall cooperate with the Member States on vaccination certificates, in full compliance with EU data protection legislation, which can support the continuation of care. A common approach should be agreed by the end of January 2021, so that the interoperable certificates of the states- Member States can be used rapidly across the EU and beyond.

2) Genome sequencing and testing.

Member States should update their testing strategies to take into account new mutations by February 2021 and expand the use of rapid antigen testing. also, Member States urgently need to increase the genome sequence to at least 5% and preferably in 10% of positive test results. Presently, many Member States control under 1% samples, something that is not enough to determine the evolution of mutations or to detect new ones.

3) Maintaining the single market and free movement, while at the same time mitigation measures are strengthened.

Measures should be implemented to further reduce the risk of transmission associated with the means of travel, such as hygiene and distance measures in vehicles and terminals.

All unnecessary travel should be strongly discouraged until the epidemiological situation improves significantly. Proportional travel restrictions must be maintained, including traveler tests, for those traveling from areas with a higher frequency of mutations that cause concern.

4) Ensuring European leadership and international solidarity.

To ensure timely access to vaccines, Commission to set up Team Europe mechanism to structure vaccine delivery shared by Member States with partner countries. This will allow sharing with partner countries in some of the 2,3 billion. doses secured through the EU vaccine strategy, paying particular attention to the Western Balkans, in our eastern and southern neighborhoods and in Africa.

The European Commission and the Member States should continue to support COVAX, including through timely access to vaccines. Team Europe has already mobilized 853 million. support for COVAX, making the EU one of COVAX's largest donors.

Stella Kyriakidou, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, stated that “collaborating with unity, solidarity and determination, we may soon begin to see the beginning of the end of the pandemic. particularly, we need rapid and coordinated action against new mutations in the virus. Vaccinations will continue to take time until they reach all Europeans and until then we must take action together immediately, coordinated and preventive steps. "Vaccinations must be accelerated across the EU and tests and tracing must be increased - this shows that we can ensure that we leave this crisis behind as soon as possible.".

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