7th Jun 2023

EU missed March vaccination target for priority groups

  • Hungary tops the EU's coronavirus vaccination race - with nearly all health workers fully-vaccinated (Photo: Sanofi Pasteur)

The European Union failed to reach its target of having at least 80 percent of the elderly (aged 80 and above) and 80 percent of healthcare professionals vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of March.

Data released by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, an EU agency, showed that vaccination rates have sped up in many members states, but figures are still far below that 80-percent goal.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

During the first quarter of 2021, members states received 107 million vaccine doses - of which 89 million have been administrated.

As of Friday (2 April), the median vaccination uptake of the first dose among those aged 80 years and above was nearly 57 percent, and full vaccination with two doses was 30 percent (figures correspond to 23 member states).

For healthcare workers, the numbers show a nearly 63-percent uptake of the first dose and 50 percent of the second dose (figures from only 11 reporting countries).

Hungary tops the EU's coronavirus vaccination race, thanks to a strategy that includes the shots approved by the EU as well buying those developed by Russia and China.

Nearly all health workers (99 percent) in Hungary have been fully vaccinated, according to the EU agency.

Additionally, Romania, Spain, Estonia and Ireland have fully vaccinated more than 60 percent of their doctors and nurses.

Last week, the Italian government announced that all healthcare professionals must get vaccinated against Covid-19, facing up to a year of suspension without pay if they refuse to get the jab.

The announcement comes after the discovery of clusters of infections in hospitals where staff had refused to get the vaccine.

Meanwhile, Malta and Denmark lead the EU in vaccinations of the elderly - with more than 50 percent of those aged 80 and above being fully vaccinated.

End of June?

According to the latest estimates, leaked to Bloomberg last week, only 55 percent of the EU population will be vaccinated by the end of June.

However, the figures also revealed significant disparities among member states.

Malta expects to have 93.1 percent of its population vaccinated by the end of the second quarter and Denmark follows next with a 79.8 percent forecast.

But a few members states, whose vaccination strategy heavily relied on AstraZeneca, are lagging.

EU ambassadors agreed last Thursday on a "solidarity" mechanism that will allow all member states to vaccinate at least 45 percent of their population by the end of June.

As a result of that, Estonia, Latvia, Croatia, Slovakia, and Bulgaria will receive 2.85 million additional doses from the advanced 10 million vaccines from Pfizer/BioNtech.

While 19 member states will receive the pro-rata of 6.66 million vaccines, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovenia will get the pro-rata of the 10 million vaccines.

Austria, which has vocally criticised the bloc's vaccine distribution system, is expected to have more than half of its population vaccinated by the middle of the year.

Last month, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen stressed that vaccination rates in Europe are rising, insisting that the EU will reach its goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the adult population by September.

EU sharpens vaccine export tool, amid third wave

The UK seems to be targeted as it has received 10m vaccines since January from the EU but has not exported back. Several EU countries are cautious about the tighter curbs fearing it could harm global supply chains.

Vaccine export 'ban' row heats up ahead of EU summit

"This is not about banning vaccine exports, this is about making sure that companies deliver on their commitments to the member states and the EU that are inscribed in contracts," commission spokesman Eric Mamer said.

Hundreds of thousands log on for 'spare' Belgian vaccinations

On Tuesday Belgium launched a new website, QVAX, where people who are not yet vaccinated or have no appointment to be vaccinated, could register in case 'spare' appointments come up. Brussels will start it's own system mid-April.


Final steps for EU's due diligence on supply chains law

Final negotiations on the EU due diligence law begin this week. But will this law make companies embed due diligence requirements in their internal processes or incentive them to outsource their obligations to third parties?


Final steps for EU's due diligence on supply chains law

Final negotiations on the EU due diligence law begin this week. But will this law make companies embed due diligence requirements in their internal processes or incentive them to outsource their obligations to third parties?

Latest News

  1. Israeli settlers encircling Jerusalem, EU envoys warn
  2. No clear 'Qatargate effect' — but only half voters aware of EU election
  3. Part of EU middle class 'being squeezed out', MEP warns
  4. Migration commissioner: Greek pushback film 'clear deportation'
  5. In 2024, Europe's voters need to pick a better crop of MEPs
  6. ECB president grilled over €135bn interest payout to commercial banks
  7. EU political ads rules could be 'hotbed for retaliatory flagging'
  8. Final steps for EU's due diligence on supply chains law

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  2. ICLEISeven actionable measures to make food procurement in Europe more sustainable
  3. World BankWorld Bank Report Highlights Role of Human Development for a Successful Green Transition in Europe
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic summit to step up the fight against food loss and waste
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersThink-tank: Strengthen co-operation around tech giants’ influence in the Nordics
  6. EFBWWEFBWW calls for the EC to stop exploitation in subcontracting chains

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. InformaConnecting Expert Industry-Leaders, Top Suppliers, and Inquiring Buyers all in one space - visit Battery Show Europe.
  2. EFBWWEFBWW and FIEC do not agree to any exemptions to mandatory prior notifications in construction
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ways to prevent gender-based violence
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCSW67: Economic gender equality now! Nordic ways to close the pension gap
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCSW67: Pushing back the push-back - Nordic solutions to online gender-based violence
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCSW67: The Nordics are ready to push for gender equality

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us