The European Union (EU) will start coronavirus vaccination on December 27, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has announced.
“It’s Europe’s moment. On 27, 28 and 29 December vaccination will start across the EU,” von der Leyen tweeted on Thursday.
“We protect our citizens together. We are stronger together,” she added
The announcement came two days after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) decided to bring forward a meeting to conclude its assessment of the vaccine jointly developed by Germany’s BioNTech and America’s Pfizer, Xinhua news agency reported.
Also confirming the news, German Health Minister Jens Spahn said: “In Germany, we will start, if the approval comes as planned, on December 27. The other countries in the EU want to be able to start from December 27.”
As a member of the EU, Germany is obliged to wait for the EMA to approve the vaccine.
According to the World Health Organization, there were currently 222 Covid-19 candidate vaccines being developed worldwide, and 56 of them were in clinical trials.
The development comes as the pandemic has infected a total of 15,130,100 people across the EU and resulted in the deaths of at least 375,930 others, according to the latest figures by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
In terms of overall infections, France is the worst affected with 2,376,852 cases, while Itally currently accounts for the highest death toll with 64,520 fatalities, the Centre added.