Business & Finance
EU to donate an additional 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to poorer countries
15 September 2021 -

The executive chief of the European Union has said that the EU will donate a further 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to poorer countries and close gaps in its own vaccination coverage, Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday.

Ursula von der Leyen was quoted as telling the European Parliament in a speech in that the EU's first pandemic priority was to speed up global vaccination, given less than 1% of doses globally administered had been in low-income countries.

She said that European Commission will donate 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to low-income countries by the middle of next year, on top of the 250 million doses already pledged.

The European Commission president also said she saw "worrisome divergences" between the rates of vaccination in EU member states, adding that the bloc had secured 1.8 billion further vaccine doses to cover more initial and booster shots.

Von der Leyen added that the EU was setting up a health emergency response authority, designed to improve the bloc's response to cross-border health threats.

She also proposed that the EU invest EUR50bn by 2027 to improve its preparedness and resilience to future health threats.