EU has fully vaccinated 70% of adults against COVID-19, officials say

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The European Union has vaccinated 70% of its adult population against COVID-19, according to a tweet published Tuesday by the president of the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, posted a video thanking people for making the Union’s vaccine goal possible.

“Today we have reached an important milestone in our vaccination campaign,” said von der Leyen. “Seventy percent of adults in the European Union are now fully vaccinated. And more than 250 million people are immune.”

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The EU vaccination percentage has now exceeded that of the US despite a slow start to the vaccination rollout.

As of August 31, 63.4% of adults 18 and older had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the United States, with 74.1% having received at least one dose, according to data collected by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Meanwhile, as cases continue to rise in the United States and Europe largely due to the delta variant of COVID-19, the EU on Monday recommended that its 27 countries reinstate travel restrictions for them. American tourists.

European Council decision to remove the United States from a list of safe countries for non-essential travel overturns advice it gave in June, when the bloc recommended lifting restrictions on all American travelers before the summer tourist season.

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The EU decision reflects growing concern that the rampant spread of the virus in the United States could spread to Europe at a time when Americans are allowed to travel to the continent.

The indications published on Monday are not, however, binding. American tourists should expect a mishmash of travel rules across the continent as the EU lacks a unified COVID-19 tourism policy and EU national governments have the power to decide if or how they keep their borders open during the pandemic.

“Non-essential travel to the EU from countries or entities not listed (on the safe persons list)… are subject to temporary travel restrictions,” the council said in a statement. “This is without prejudice to the possibility for Member States to lift the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU for fully vaccinated travelers.”

American travelers are expected to be immunized with one of the block’s approved vaccines, which includes Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson.

FILE – Departing travelers wearing mandatory protective masks line up to check-in for their flights at airline counters at Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado International Airport. (Horacio Villalobos # Corbis / Corbis via Getty Images)

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Possible restrictions on US travelers could include quarantines, additional testing requirements on arrival, or even a total ban on all non-essential travel from the United States.

Meanwhile, the United States has yet to reopen its own borders to European tourists, despite calls from the bloc to do so. European Commission home affairs spokesman Adalbert Jahnz said on Monday the EU executive was still in talks with the Biden administration, but so far the two sides have failed to find a reciprocal approach.

In addition to the epidemiological criteria used to determine the countries for which the restrictions should be lifted, the European Council said that “reciprocity should also be taken into account on a case-by-case basis”.

The European Council updates the safe travel list every two weeks, based on criteria related to levels of coronavirus infection. The threshold for being on the EU’s safety list is to have no more than 75 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 14 days.

The United States averages over 155,000 new coronavirus cases and 1,200 deaths per day, and several US states have more COVID-19 patients in hospital now than at any time during the pandemic.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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