BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union nations, Britain and EU partners have agreed on a blueprint for a COVID-19 vaccination plan envisaging inoculation of at least 40% of their populations, a step that may set back the World Health Organisation’s own vaccine blueprint.
The EU target for early vaccinations is twice as high as the goal set by the WHO, which is aiming to buy vaccines initially for 20% of the world’s most vulnerable people through a global procurement scheme.
The EU estimates that the share of its population in need of initial vaccination, should a shot be developed, would be at least 40%, effectively reducing the availability of possible doses for less developed countries.
There is so far no approved COVID-19 vaccine, except one authorised in Russia before large-scale trials. The supply of the vaccines that might be successful is expected to be limited for a long period as production capacities are limited.
“Adding (up) all risk groups presently known will designate probably 40% of the population, depending on the situation and demography in countries,” said the document, adopted in late July by health experts from EU member states as well as Britain, Switzerland, Norway and Balkan countries.