The European Union (EU) has hit its target of fully vaccinating 70 percent of adults.
“I want to thank the many people making this great achievement possible,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a tweet Tuesday.
“We need more Europeans to vaccinate. And we need to help the rest of the world vaccinate, too,” she added.
70% of adults in EU are fully vaccinated.— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) August 31, 2021
I want to thank the many people making this great achievement possible.
But we must go further!
We need more Europeans to vaccinate. And we need to help the rest of the world vaccinate, too.
We'll continue supporting our partners. pic.twitter.com/VxdvZlrwYv
Hitting the 70 percent threshold means 256 million people in the EU are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Fully vaccinated individuals may still contract the coronavirus, but it is much less likely for them to end up in the hospital or die from the virus.
The EU ramped up its vaccination efforts after a slow start when they lagged behind the U.S. in vaccination numbers.
The U.S. currently only has 52 percent of its population fully vaccinated, while just over 63 percent of adults are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The EU recommended on Monday that member countries reimplement restrictions on U.S. travelers due to the spike in cases in the U.S., though nations have the option to admit vaccinated travelers.
Health officials have been urging vaccinations, especially as the delta variant has caused a spike in coronavirus cases around the world.
“This is a collective achievement of the EU and its Member States that shows what is possible when we work together with solidarity and in coordination. Our efforts to further increase vaccinations across the EU will continue unabated,” European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides said.