BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union is on course to hit a target of fully vaccinating at least 70% of the adult population by the end of summer given that percentage of those 18 and over have now received a first dose, the European Commission said on Tuesday.
EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said the bloc had reached an important milestone of 70% of adults having received a first dose and 57% fully vaccinated. Projections showed that the EU would reach its goal by the end of the summer, she said in a statement.
The EU's vaccine campaign got off to a slow start relative to the likes of Britain and the United States due to delays in deliveries of vaccine doses, notably those of AstraZeneca, against which it launched legal proceedings.
However, after a sharp ramp-up in supplies from the second quarter, particularly of the Pfizer-BionTech vaccine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU was now among the world leaders.
"The catch-up process has been very successful - but we need to keep up the effort," she said.
"The delta variant is very dangerous. I therefore call on everyone - who has the opportunity - to be vaccinated. For their own health and to protect others," she continued.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop)