The vaccination campaign against the coronavirus will begin in the countries of the European Union on December 27, 28, and 29, as announced this Thursday by the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
Europe surpassed half a million deaths from the coronavirus on Thursday, the first region in the world to reach that symbolic figure, while in the United States, the most affected country, a committee of experts studied the approval of the Moderna laboratory vaccine.
Since October, Europe has once again been the epicenter of the pandemic, which in recent days set record numbers, such as 6,800 deaths on Tuesday or the more than 30,000 infections detected in Germany in the last 24 hours.
In France, President Emmanuel Macron contracted covid 19, according to the Elysee on Thursday.
The announcement led several European leaders, including the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, and the Portuguese Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, to preventively isolate themselves after having been in contact with Macron.
In the 52 countries and territories of the European region (from Portugal to Russia and Azerbaijan), at least 500,069 deaths were registered, out of more than 23 million declared infections, a number of deaths that exceeds those of the other two most affected regions, Latin America and the Caribbean (477,000 deaths) and the United States and Canada (321,000).
The increase in infections caused tougher restrictions in many European countries, while the United States, the nation hardest hit by the pandemic, recorded new daily records of cases (250,000) and deaths (more than 3,700) on Wednesday.
A second vaccine in the US
The United States expects experts to approve Moderna's vaccine on Thursday and that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will approve its use shortly after the meeting, likely on Friday.
If all goes according to plan, the United States will be the first country to authorize Moderna's treatment. It will thus be able to have two vaccines as of next week and accelerate the immunization campaign that began on Monday with the product of the US-German alliance Pfizer / BioNTech.
The government's goal is to vaccinate 20 million people in December. Health workers and residents of nursing homes will be the first.
The White House announced that Vice President Mike Pence and his wife will receive the vaccine on Friday and that President Donald Trump is "totally open" to doing the same, although he has already contracted the corona virus and is supposed to be immunized.
Vaccinations in Europe
The European Union will begin its vaccination campaign on December 27, 28, and 29, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced on Thursday.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) plans to meet on the 21st to evaluate the vaccine from the Pfizer-BioNTech laboratories and, immediately afterward, the Commission will give its approval to start the campaign.
As for Moderna's vaccine, the EMA will decide on January 6 whether to authorize it, as announced on Thursday.
And as the vaccine reaches Europe, many countries tightened their restrictions, fearful that the Christmas holidays could lead to an explosion of cases.