Ursula von der Leyen (CDU), President of the European Commission and member of the EPP parliamentary group, praised the fight against the corona pandemic as a success. At the same time, efforts are still required. Photo: Philipp von Ditfurth / dpa
With more than 70 percent of the adult population fully vaccinated, the EU is among the world’s leading in spite of all the critics, said von der Leyen in her State of the European Union address in Strasbourg on Wednesday. In addition, the EU was the only region in the world to distribute more than 700 million doses of vaccine to more than 130 countries around the world. “We did it right because we did it the European way.”
At the same time, von der Leyen referred to global injustice with a view to vaccination rates. The priority must be to accelerate vaccination worldwide. The extent of injustice is obvious. The German politician announced that the EU would donate another 200 million vaccine doses by mid-2022. “Corona times are not over,” said von der Leyen. “A pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint.”
In order to ensure that a virus no longer becomes a pandemic in the future, von der Leyen suggested investing 50 billion euros in health care across the EU over the next six years.