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"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Driving the news: The E.U. surpassed the United States in vaccinations last month after campaigns taken across the bloc's 27 countries grew at a faster pace than anywhere else in the world.

The big picture: More than 55% of the entire E.U. population has been fully vaccinated, compared with 52% in the United States, 61% in Israel, and 64% in Britain, per the Times.

  • The vaccination rate has slowed this month, but "it has yet to reach a ceiling that some experts and officials feared it would hit over the summer," the Times writes.

Between the lines: Discrepancies in vaccination rates between E.U. countries persist.

  • More than 80% of adults have been fully vaccinated in Belgium, Denmark and Portugal, and more than 75% in Spain and the Netherlands, while 45% of adults have been vaccinated in Latvia, 31% in Romania and 20% in Bulgaria, per the Times.

What she's saying: "The pandemic is not over,” von der Leyen said. "We need more. I call on everyone who can to get vaccinated."

70% of adults in EU are fully vaccinated.

I want to thank the many people making this great achievement possible.

But we must go further!

We need more Europeans to vaccinate. And we need to help the rest of the world vaccinate, too.

We'll continue supporting our partners.

— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) August 31, 2021

Go deeper: European Union surpasses the U.S. in COVID-19 vaccinations

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