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Latest data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control shows improving COVID-19 vaccination rates across the European Union and EEA, with 13 member states now having reached the European Commission's initial target of 70% having had their first dose.
- Outperformers at present are smaller, wealthier nations (and in the case of 1st and 3rd placed Belgium and the Netherlands, countries with substantial vaccine production facilities). Underperformers are by-and-large those in Central and Eastern Europe, with the low rates of individuals having at least one vaccine dose in Romania (31.1%) and Bulgaria (18.1%) likely to come as a significant concern to the ECDC and the Commission.
- Several EU member states, notably France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and the Netherlands are recording spikes in new case loads, driven by the spread of the Delta variant. The hope will be that, as is the case at present in the UK (where the new caseload was the second highest globally last week) that large numbers of new cases do not translate into significant numbers of fatalities or hospitalisations due to rising vaccination levels.