European vaccination rates rise as hope goes viral

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

March 1st, 2021

Editorial Team

‘Twice as many people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 as have been diagnosed with the disease, but most poor countries still await their vaccines’

It was a long winter in most of Europe. For many countries, the number of cases of COVID-19 was higher than in the first wave of the pandemic. Restrictions on movement and school closures were common; birthday parties, concerts and trips to the cinema were not. 

And, while music festivals and the airport may remain off limits for now, there are early signs of hope. After a stuttering start, Europe’s vaccination programmes are getting into gear, vaccinating millions of people every week. 

The news from Israel and the UK – frontrunners in rolling out vaccines – is good. Millions have been safely vaccinated; the vaccines appear just as effective in the real world as in clinical trials. They may even reduce transmission and offer some protection against new variants of the virus.

Vaccine programmes in low and middle-income countries have been slowest to secure vaccine supplies but COVAX is now delivering and global leaders have committed to further supporting a fairer distribution of vaccines. 

For weary populations, progress cannot come quick enough. It will be months before Europe can reach all health workers and older adults. Many of their counterparts in countries that depend on COVAX will wait until the second half of 2021 or perhaps later. 

But with social media alight with images of people from around the world having their COVID-19 vaccine, there are reasons for cautious optimism

Here are a selection of COVID-19 vaccine tweets – for more, follow #IAmVaccinated #ThisIsOurShot #IGotTheShot