Only a share of the European Union population can be inoculated against the new coronavirus before 2022, should an effective vaccine be available, EU officials said in an internal meeting, as governments remain split on vaccination plans.
The warning comes in spite of the fact that the 27-nation bloc, with a population of 450 million, has secured more than 1 billion doses of potential Covid-19 vaccines from three drugmakers. It is negotiating the booking of another billion vials with other companies.
As a global scramble to secure shots accelerates, experts caution that not every potential vaccine may prove to be effective.
“There will not be sufficient doses of Covid-19 vaccines for the entire population before the end of 2021,” a European Commission official told diplomats from EU states in a closed-door meeting on Monday, a person who attended it told Reuters.
A second official confirmed the statement. An EU Commission spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
There is still no effective Covid-19 vaccine, but the first shots could be available at the beginning of next year, the Commission said earlier in October.