Before the planned large-scale launch on Sunday, EU countries started receiving the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines this weekend.
According to the Associated Press, work will begin on Sunday to vaccinate vulnerable people and first-priority medical personnel in some countries that suffered the first wave of the virus this spring.
The Associated Press said, “Here, the good news for Christmas,” said German Health Minister Jens Spahn (Jens Spahn). “Currently, trucks are passing through Europe, and the first batch of vaccines are delivered across Germany and its regions. There will be more deliveries the day after tomorrow. This vaccine is the decisive key to ending this pandemic.”
According to the Associated Press, since the start of the pandemic, a total of 16 million coronavirus cases have occurred in the 27 member states of the European Group, resulting in 336,000 deaths.
Before Christmas, about 10,000 doses in each country began to be shipped from Pfizer-BioNTech manufacturing center in Belgium.
Although the scale of the first shipment is relatively small, the mass vaccination program is scheduled to begin in January and will focus on providing vaccination to more people across the EU.
The European Union has agreed to purchase up to 300 million Pfizer-BioNTech doses and millions from other manufacturers such as Moderna.
Each country is responsible for its own vaccine distribution rules, although countries have agreed to give priority to the elderly and medical professionals who are frequently exposed to and infected with the virus.
In Germany, people over the age of 80 and those caring for vulnerable groups will receive the first batch of vaccines.
The Associated Press reported that in countries such as Poland and Bulgaria, the public is generally dissatisfied with the authorities’ distrust of vaccines.
Polish officials pleaded with residents that vaccination is their patriotic duty and will help to achieve cattle immunity. Croatian officials say they plan to launch an aggressive campaign to prove the benefits of coronavirus vaccination.
With the promotion of the vaccine throughout the EU, officials have warned that the new virus strain is said to be 56% more infectious. The virus spread rapidly in the UK and was found in many other countries.