Europe’s slow start: How many people have had the Covid vaccine?

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

image copyrightReutersimage captionA 78-year-old French woman received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in France

A global race is on to vaccinate people against Covid-19 – and with infections soaring in Europe many have complained that the roll-out is too slow in the EU.

Member states decide individually who to vaccinate, when and where, but the EU is coordinating strategy and buying vaccines in bulk. On Friday, the EU Commission agreed to buy an extra 300 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine – that would give the EU nearly half of the firm's global output for 2021.

BBC reporters in seven European capitals explain how the vaccinations are going on their patch.

  • What’s happening to the EU vaccine scheme?
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In an election year, the vaccine has become a political battleground, writes Jenny Hill, in Berlin.

The fact it was German scientists who developed the first effective Covid vaccine has been the source of great national pride. And, by and large, Germans appear to be reasonably comfortable with the idea of immunisation.

A recent survey found 65% were prepared to have the vaccine. Other research indicates that less than a quarter of those surveyed would not. But politically – and perhaps unsurprisingly, given this is an election year – Germany's vaccination programme has become a battleground.

Vaccinations began here just under two weeks ago and prioritise the over 80s and care home workers. By Thursday evening, more than 477,000 first doses had been administered.

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