Europe has launched a mass Covid-19 vaccination program as countries race to contain a new variant

The pilot, Sammy Kramer, invited people on his Instagram account to follow his flight, on a two-seater plane, on FlightRadar24.

The air traffic tracking website reported that the flight took off from Friedrichshafen, near Lake Constance in southern Germany, on December 23, and took an hour and 44 minutes.

The European Union (EU) officially kicked off its Covid-19 vaccination campaign on Sunday, days after approving the Pfizer / BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on December 21.

„The vaccine … has been delivered to all European Union countries,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter on Saturday.

On December 27, 28 and 29, the Commission declared „European Union Immunization Days”, which von der Leyen described as a „touching moment of unity”. She added: „Vaccination is the permanent way out of the epidemic.”

The first to receive doses of the vaccine were from elderly or frontline medical personnel.

In France, a 78-year-old woman named Morissette was the first to receive the vaccine, according to a tweet by Aurelene Rousseau, director general of the Ile-de-France region health agency. Morissette, a former housekeeper, received the vaccine at a general hospital in the Greater Paris region.

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Italy – 1 time European Coronavirus Epidemic Center She also gave her first doses of the vaccine on Sunday.

Among the first to receive it was Professor Maria Rosaria Capobianchi, a virologist at the Lazaro Spallanzani National Institute of Infectious Diseases. Capobianchi is part of the team that isolated the virus for the first time in Italy.

A doctor and a nurse were among the first group to receive the vaccine injection.

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Dr. Alessandra Dabramo was working at the institute when the first people infected with the Coronavirus in Italy – a Chinese couple – were hospitalized there on January 30.

She told CNN shortly after she was given the injection: „This is a wonderful day because after a long time of great work in the ward, it is now a day of hope and I am very proud of that.” “The vaccine has been approved by the FDA, EMA and AIFA – Italy [regulator] – So I think it is safe and effective. „

A 96-year-old resident of the nursing home was the first to get the vaccine in Spain. Araceli Rosario Hidalgo, born in 1924, received her dose on Sunday at a nursing home in Guadalajara, near Madrid.

The second person in the country to receive the vaccine was a home employee, Nursing Assistant Monica Tapias.

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The Czech Republic took a different approach – its first dose of the vaccine was given to Prime Minister Andrei Babis, while the second dose was given to veteran warrior Emilia Cibikova.

Babish came under fire in the last months after that Coronavirus cases have increased in the country.
The prime minister was initially reluctant to impose stricter rules on the population, citing the need to protect the country’s economy, but the decision led to the virus spreading widely. In the end Restrictions were imposed and Babis apologized.

While the European Union officially launched the vaccination program on Sunday, some countries began vaccinating people the day before – the doses were given on Saturday in Germany and Slovakia.

The launch of the vaccine comes as European governments race to contain the spread of A. The new alternative to Covid-19 It was first discovered in the United Kingdom.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) continues its renewed review of other promising candidate vaccines, including from AstraZeneca, the University of Oxford, and from Johnson & Johnson.

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Barbie Nadu, Nicola Rutolo, Attica Schubert, Ya Chun Wang and Niamh Kennedy contributed to this report.

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