EU kicks off COVID-19 vaccinations, but many still hesitant

Doctors, nurses and the elderly rolled up their sleeves across the European Union to receive the first doses of the coronavirus vaccine Sunday, even as some remained skeptical about the speed at which the vaccines had been approved and were reluctant to get a shot.

Weeks after the United States, Canada and Britain began inoculations, the 27-nation EU staged a coordinated rollout aimed at projecting a unified message that the vaccine was safe amid the worst health care crisis in a century.

The EU has secured contracts with a range of drugmakers including Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca, for a total of more than two billion doses and has set a goal for all adults to be inoculated next year.

But many Europeans remain skeptical about the vaccines’ safety. Surveys have pointed to high levels of hesitancy towards inoculation in countries from France to Poland, with many used to vaccines taking decades to develop, not just months.


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