UPDATED: European Council President Charles Michel says EU to have 3 or 4 vaccines by 2021

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European Council President Charles Michel said on Wednesday that “three or four” safe and effective vaccines against coronavirus are likely to be approved by the end of the year or at the beginning of 2021.

In an interview with RTL, Michel noted that the European Union’s leadership doesn’t have a “magic wand” to ensure everybody gets vaccinated straight away, warning that “questions of logistics, conservation and deployment of vaccination campaigns” will arise once vaccines enter circulation.

However, the bloc has “mobilized resources to ensure we are not in chaos once vaccines become available,” the European Council’s head underscored.

Michel on Tuesday urged member states to adopt the quicker antigen coronavirus testing method, common rules on virus management and to avoid vaccine “chaos”.

In his weekly newsletter, Michel said: “Within the space of just a few weeks, the situation has escalated from worrying to alarming”, adding “now we must avoid a tragedy”.

On Thursday, EU leaders will hold an online summit to discuss how to better cooperate as infections rise. The post appears to be a preview of issues leaders will discuss.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that the European Commission proposed on Wednesday a series of new measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the European Union, saying the new spike in infections on the continent was “alarming”.

As Europe again becomes the world’s epicentre of the pandemic, the EU executive urged the 27 EU governments to do more and in a more coordinated fashion against the virus.

“The relaxation of applied measures during the summer months was not always accompanied by steps to build up sufficient response capacity,” the Commission warned in a statement.

To better trace the spread of infections, Brussels said EU governments should coordinate their testing strategies and make a larger use of rapid antigen tests, despite the global supply for these kits is now tightening.

It warned the “current shortfalls in testing capacity” required swift action.

Read more via ANSA

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