The European Commission recommended on Tuesday to vaccinate against COVID-19 at least 70% of the European Union’s adult population by this summer, in an attempt to curb the coronavirus pandemic.
Vaccination campaigns are conducted by the 27 EU governments who decide their pace and priority groups. The Commission did not clarify how it intended to boost production capacity of vaccine makers to reach its bold vaccination goal.
The Brussels-based EU executive commission said EU states should have vaccinated 70% of all adult people by the summer, a feat that could involve inoculation of more than 200 million people, most likely with two doses each.
By March at least 80% of people over the age of 80, and 80% of healthcare workers should also be vaccinated in each EU states, the Commission recommended.
Key to reach these targets is the availability of large amounts of vaccines.
The EU has booked nearly 2.3 billion doses of COVID-19 shots and candidates, but only two have so far received regulatory approval in the EU.
The EU has secured a total of 600 million doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, and expects them to be delivered by the end of the year despite early snags in deliveries.
The Commission is also urging EU states to boost their capacity to sequence the coronavirus in order to detect new variants.
It called on EU governments to sequence at least 5% of all positive tests whereas at the moment many states test less than 1% of samples.
It also said it was working with EU states to adopt by the end of the month a common approach on vaccination certificates to facilitate travel.