EU says more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines have been exported

EU says more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines have been exported
© Getty Images

The European Union has now exported more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines, making it the largest exporter of vaccines in the world, The Associated Press reported.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday that the bloc had provided vaccines to 150 nations, including Japan, Britain, South Africa and Brazil.

Von der Leyen also said that the EU had pledged to give at least half a billion vaccines to middle- and low-income countries that have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.

ADVERTISEMENT

This move follows the bloc's announcement last month that it would send 200 million more vaccines to countries in Africa and other low-income nations, the AP added.

“We know that other countries also have to step up,” von der Leyen said, per the AP. “That’s the only way to beat the pandemic.”

While the United States has pledged to send more than a billion vaccine doses abroad, it has currently exported less than 200 million doses. 

Von der Leyen said she intends to use the Group of 20 summit meeting in Rome at the end of the month to rally additional support, according to the AP. 

She noted that at minimum every second dose produced in the EU is sent abroad, in line with President BidenJoe BidenDearborn office of Rep. Debbie Dingell vandalized Pfizer to apply for COVID-19 booster approval for 16- and 17-year-olds: report Coronavirus variant raises fresh concerns for economy MORE's goal to reach a global vaccination rate of 70 percent by 2022.

As of now, Our World In Data reports that nearly 48 percent of people globally have received at least one dose of the vaccine. However, it noted stark contrasts with lower-income countries, where less than 3 percent of people have been partially vaccinated.

Last month, India announced it would begin exporting its excess COVID-19 vaccines in October. India, which is the world's largest COVID-19 vaccine producer, stopped exports in April when it saw significant increases in infections within its own borders.