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EU leaders agree to donate 100M vaccine doses

Published: (Updated: ) in European News by .

Italy, France and Germany have already pledged 75 million doses together.

EU leaders Tuesday agreed to Council conclusions saying countries will donate “at least” 100 million coronavirus vaccine doses abroad by the end of 2021.

At the end of last week, three countries promised doses totaling 75 million, with Italy pledging 15 million, and France and Germany each kicking in 30 million.

About half of the EU leaders made additional national pledges today during summit discussions, according to an EU diplomat.

The Commission separately wrote that these donations will be made “in particular through COVAX,” the World Health Organization mechanism for sharing vaccines with low- and middle-income countries.

EU leaders were also eager to point out that the bloc is the “largest exporter of COVID-19 vaccines” — a jab at the U.S., which grabbed the limelight last week after pledging to donate 80 million doses but has spent most of the pandemic not exporting any vaccines.

In related news, EU leaders welcomed the political agreement on the EU Digital COVID Certificate forged last week. The deal followed four tense trilogue talks, but the Parliament ultimately got money for coronavirus tests and changed the name of the certificate in exchange for MEPs’ sign-off.

Now it’s up to EU countries to implement the certificate, which could be a struggle for some. Leaders urged a “rapid implementation” of the certificate and called for a revision of the Council’s recommendation on travel within the EU by mid-June.

Leaders also applauded the improving epidemiological situation across the bloc but said countries must remain “vigilant” — especially when it comes to variants of concern and boosting vaccine production.

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