Brussels targets vaccinating at least 70% of EU adults by summer
The EU executive also said it will work to boost the production capacity of vaccine makers with measures that could include investment in plants and faster regulatory procedures to authorise them.
By March at least 80% of people over the age of 80, and 80% of healthcare workers should also be vaccinated in each EU states, the Commission also said.
Each of the EU’s 27 governments are managing their own vaccination campaigns, including their pace and which groups get priority.
The EU has ordered nearly 2.3 billion doses of approved and candidate COVID-19 vaccines, but only two drugs have so far received regulatory clearance in the bloc. Most vaccines need two doses to provide full protection.
The EU has secured 600 million doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech and, despite early snags in deliveries, expects them to be delivered by the end of this year.
The Commission is also urging EU states to boost their capacity to sequence the coronavirus in order to detect new variants.
On Monday, it called on EU governments to sequence at least 5% of all positive tests whereas at the moment many states test less than 1% of samples.
“Vaccinations will still take time until they reach all Europeans,” EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides said, adding that meanwhile testing and sequencing must be increased.
The commission also said it was working with EU states to adopt a common approach by the end of the month on vaccination certificates to facilitate travel.