Held on Sunday (December 27, 2020), the first vaccinations against COVID-19 are taking place across the European Union (EU) Member States.
Doctors, nurses and the elderly rolled up their sleeves across the European Union to receive the first doses of the coronavirus vaccine Sunday in a symbolic show of unity and moment of hope for a continent confronting its worst health care crisis in a century.
Following the recommendation of the European Medicines Agency, the European Commission has granted a conditional market authorisation for the first COVID-19 vaccine by BioNTech/Pfizer on December 21, 2020. They are thoroughly tested by independent laboratories and with tens of thousands of volunteers.
The vaccines, developed by Germany’s BioNTech and American drugmaker Pfizer, started arriving in super-cold containers at EU hospitals on Friday from a factory in Belgium. Each country was only getting a fraction of the doses needed – fewer than 10,000 in the first batches – with the bigger rollout expected in January when more vaccines become available.
First Covid-19 vaccines arrived in EU Member States days earlier, depend on the countries. Even though a few countries started giving doses a day early, the coordinated rollout for a bloc of 27 nations and nearly 450 million people aimed at projecting a unified message that the vaccine was safe.
The campaign also send the message that its Europe’s best chance to emerge from the pandemic and the economic devastation caused by months of lockdown. Time to start turning the page on a difficult year.
For health care workers who have been battling the virus with only masks and shields to protect them, the vaccines represented an emotional relief as well as a very public chance to urge people to protect themselves and others.
The vaccine will be available for all EU countries, at the same time, on the same conditions. EU Vaccination Days will be held on December 27-29, 2020.