The European Union will donate 500 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, the head of the European Commission announced on Monday.
“The European Union has exported over 1 billion vaccine doses worldwide over the past 10 months,” Ursula von der Leyen said in a video statement.
Calling it “an important milestone,” she explained that the bloc had exported COVID-19 jabs “to more than 150 countries on all continents, from Japan to Turkey, from the UK to New Zealand, from South Africa to Brazil.”
She also promised that “the EU will donate in the next months at least 500 million doses to the most vulnerable countries.”
Von der Leyen praised the bloc’s achievement in vaccinating over 75% of its adult population but warned that vaccination campaigns had to be accelerated in other parts of the world to effectively fight the pandemic.
Referring to her previous talks with US President Joe Biden, she said the EU-US Agenda for Beating the Global Pandemic aims to have 70% of the world’s population vaccinated by next year.
Currently, some 47.5% of the global population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, but only 2.7% of people in low-income countries have been vaccinated at least once, according to the latest figures from online resource Our World in Data.