Over the week through March 14, the 29 countries in the bloc and wider European Economic Area took delivery of 9.9 million COVID19 vaccine doses. Over the period, 9.1 million shots were administered, the ECDC said on Thursday.
Compared to 2.5 million a day in the U.S., that equates to about 1.3 million vaccinations a day. In the U.S., the population is only about 70% as large.
The European Union’s Covid vaccination drive showed no sign of speeding up over the past week. It is still running at less than half the pace of immunization programs in the U.S. This was according to weekly figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
In the bloc, the proportion of adults who have received their first dose is now at 9.8%. That’s 1.6 percentage points higher by 1.7 points over the previous seven days.
Based on data, 4.3% of adults are now fully vaccinated, which has improved by 0.6 percentage points. This was relatively the same increase as the week before.
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In an estimate based on conversations with pharmacists, it may take as long as two weeks for shots to be administered. That is once officials have taken delivery of the vaccines from the drug companies. This was according to Sam Fazeli, a pharmaceuticals analyst in a telephone interview.
Reports showed a separate EU document was suggesting the backlog may be as much as 20 million shots. As shown in the document, the EU has received about 70 million shots and administered around 50 million through March 16.
Politicians across the bloc have said if the EU is to meet its target, the program must speed up significantly. It’s target is to vaccinate at least 70% of people by the end of the summer. In addition, restrictive economic measures to be eased.
So far, 12.5 million doses have been received by the bloc and are yet to be administered. This is 1 million more than in the previous week.
Fazeli said he’s not too concerned about the number.
You almost want to have some extra doses available, he said. That’s in case the next consignment doesn’t arrive and you need to give second doses. They should always have a stockpile, he added.
Meanwhile, the U.K.’s vaccination campaign is one of the most advanced in the world. But due to delivery problems with the AstraZeneca vaccine and an export ban by the European Union, the campaign is grinding to a halt.