The European Union joined a growing list of governments to roll out the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Sunday. The bloc launched a coordinated vaccination program among all 27 member states, providing a sense of hope for a continent that has dealt with numerous surges throughout the pandemic.
Hungary, Germany, and Slovakia actually received their shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine Saturday and quickly began inoculating frontline health care workers and the elderly, but the other countries joined a day later as planned.
Italy, which has Europe's highest coronavirus death toll and was the first EU country to experience a significant COVID-19 outbreak earlier this year, received nearly 10,000 doses which are being administered to health care workers, who urged others to get vaccinated.
The EU is set to receive 12.5 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot by the end of the year, and its health regulatory agency will consider approving Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, which is already in use in the United States, on Jan. 6. Read more at Reuters and The Associated Press.