EU on track for herd immunity from COVID-19 by mid-July: Vaccine chief
Brussels [Belgium], The European Union is on track for herd immunity by mid-July, the EU's vaccine chief Thierry Breton has said.
"We now have 53 factories, seven days a week, and I will tell you today, that we will deliver the number of doses which will be necessary to achieve 70 per cent of the population being vaccinated by mid-July," he said in an interview to CNN aired on Thursday.
Breton insisted the EU was working extremely hard to make this happen and said it was possible. Once the doses are produced, it is up to each member state to administer the vaccines, Breton said, adding that he was in contact with all EU countries who are "doing the right things" to make sure people will get vaccinated.
He said that he had confidence in the AstraZeneca vaccine, saying it is a "good vaccine," adding, it's "extremely important that all of our fellow citizens understand that we are extremely cautious...and when we give it (a vaccine) the green light, we can go."
On the subject of whether the bloc would use Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, he said the approval was in the hands of European medical regulators. But he said even if it was approved, it wouldn't change the situation in Europe immediately.
"Our citizens believed maybe at the beginning that you order and you get, the following day, the vaccine. No, it doesn't happen like that, you need at least 10 to 12 months to transform the facility to adapt to the vaccine. When it will be approved, you will need maybe another 10 months," he explained.
According to the World Health Organization's dashboard, as many as 46,694,768 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Europe. (ANI)