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While vaccination campaigns are already well underway in some major economies such as the United States and the United Kingdom, that of the European Union has been singled out for being much slower. Data from ourworldindata.com shows that fewer than 7% of EU citizens have currently received at least one dose, compared to over 18% in the US and nearly 35% in the UK. While the pace of Europe’s vaccination campaign continues to significantly lag both the US and the UK, the major European economies now appear to be ramping up their campaigns, welcome news at a time when the virus is regaining ground across the continent.
Vaccination rates across Europe finally seem to be accelerating and this momentum is expected to continue in the weeks and months ahead given the significant increase in the number of vaccine deliveries. For example, as of March 9th, France’s vaccine delivery schedule indicates that over 9 million vaccine doses should be delivered for the month, which is more than the total number received since the vaccination campaign began in late December 2020. Deliveries in other EU Member States are also expected to pick up, since the vaccines are distributed by the European Commission on a per capita basis. However, until a sufficiently large share of the at-risk population receives a vaccine, economic activity in Europe will continue to depend on developments in the pandemic and the related health restrictions.
The following opinion was written on March 12th 2021 and is susceptible of changing.
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