Tuesday 10/26/21
COVID-19

EU Commission proposes member states start vaccination on same day

Vaccination could start around 26 December, according to European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas.
15 December 2020, US, San Diego: A general view of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine which arrived at Rady Children's Hospital. Photo: K.C. Alfred/San Diego Union-Tribune via ZUMA/dpa.
A general view of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Photo: K.C. Alfred/dpa.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday proposed EU members start their vaccination campaign against Covid-19 on the same day.

"Let us start as soon as possible with the vaccination, together as 27, with the start at the same day as we have gone in unity through this pandemic," von der Leyen told the European Parliament.

"Let's start the eradication of this horrible virus together and united," von der Leyen added.

Von der Leyen's remarks come a day after the European Medical Agency (EMA) said it would bring forward approval for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to 21 December.

"Finally within a week the first vaccine will be authorized so that vaccinations can start immediately," von der Leyen said, adding that the European Union had purchased a wide range of different vaccines and there would be more than enough for all EU citizens.

European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas meanwhile said the Covid-19 vaccine would be a "Christmas present" for Europeans.

By the end of December

After EMA's approval, the European Commission would work at "supersonic speed" to give its own go ahead to the vaccine, which could come in a couple of days, Schinas told Italian newspaper La Repubblica in an interview.

"We will do in two days the work that normally takes two months," he said, adding that this would allow EU countries to start vaccinating from around 26 December.

Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland said on Tuesday they would coordinate the launch of their vaccination programmes.

Schinas announced the commission would launch a public information campaign to support vaccination campaigns, and said he was ready to personally challenge virus sceptics.

"I had Covid in October," he said. "If someone does not believe in the virus send them to me and I'll tell them what it means to fight hard against this disease in a hospital bed."

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