70pc of adults in EU fully vaccinated
EU chief Ursula von der Leyen said yesterday 70 percent of adults in the European Union were now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, hitting an end-of-summer target the bloc set for itself in January.
"Today we reached an important milestone in our vaccination campaign. Seventy percent of adults in the EU are now fully vaccinated and that means 250 million people are fully immunised," Von der Leyen said in a video posted online.
Von der Leyen heads the European Commission, which is responsible for ordering vaccines for the EU's 27 member states, and had already announced in July that 70 percent of the adult population of the EU had received at least one dose.
The global fight against the coronavirus pandemic is now dominated by the battle against the Delta variant, a more contagious version of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
The coronavirus has killed at least 4,507,823 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP compilation of official data.
Meanwhile, EU governments on Monday agreed to remove the United States from the EU's safe travel list, meaning US visitors and those from five other countries are likely to face tighter controls, such as Covid-19 tests and quarantines. Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, and North Macedonia have also been taken off.
Scientists in South Africa are monitoring a new coronavirus variant with an unusually high mutation rate, and whose frequency has gradually increased in recent months, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said Monday.
The variant, known as C.1.2., was flagged last week by the KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation and Sequencing Platform in a preprint study that has yet to be peer reviewed.
NICD scientists said C.1.2. was only "present at very low levels" and that it was too early to predict how it might evolve.