European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday that the bloc would donate an additional 200 million coronavirus vaccine doses to Africa and low-income countries. AP Report.
why it matters: The new donation is to be distributed by the middle of next year, as confirmed cases of the coronavirus reach 225 million globally.
- African health officials have said they need about 800 million doses per AP to vaccinate at least 60% of the continent’s population.
- The European Union previously promised to deliver 250 million doses earlier this year.
What are they saying: “Our first and foremost priority is to accelerate global vaccination,” von der Leyen said in a speech to the EU on Wednesday.
- “With less than 1% of the global dose given to low-income countries, the scale of the injustice and the level of urgency is clear,” she said.
- “Let’s do everything we can to make sure this doesn’t turn into an unvaccinated pandemic.”
big picture: The World Health Organization has become increasingly critical of wealthy countries developing plans to give booster shots this year, arguing that the doses should be used to vaccinate people in poorer countries.
go in: WHO warns Africa’s supply of COVID vaccine will drop by 25%