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Staffers at a Vacci-Bus wait for vaccination seekers in July at the Place des Martyrs in Brussels. Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the EU one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Driving the news: The EU surpassed the United States in vaccinations last month after campaigns taken across the bloc's 27 countries grew at a faster pace than anywhere else in the world.

The big picture: More than 55% of the entire EU population has been fully vaccinated, compared with 52% in the United States, 61% in Israel and 64% in Britain, per the Times.

  • The vaccination rate has slowed this month, but "it has yet to reach a ceiling that some experts and officials feared it would hit over the summer," the Times writes.

Between the lines: Discrepancies in vaccination rates among EU countries persist.

  • More than 80% of adults have been fully vaccinated in Belgium, Denmark and Portugal, and more than 75% in Spain and the Netherlands, while 45% of adults have been vaccinated in Latvia, 31% in Romania and 20% in Bulgaria, per the Times.

What she's saying: "The pandemic is not over,” von der Leyen said. "We need more. I call on everyone who can to get vaccinated."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper: European Union surpasses the U.S. in COVID-19 vaccinations

Go deeper

Oct 16, 2021 - Health

Pope Francis calls on companies to release COVID vaccine patents

Pope Francis. Photo: Massimo Valicchia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pope Francis called on pharmaceutical companies on Saturday to release patents to make COVID-19 vaccines more accessible to the poor, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: There is a stark divide between countries that have access to COVID-19 shots and those that don't, and the gap has widened as some wealthier countries have begun distributing third doses.

Oct 16, 2021 - Health

5 times as many police officers have died from COVID as from guns since pandemic began

Photo: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

COVID-19 is the leading cause of death for police officers even though members of law enforcement were among the first to be eligible to receive the vaccine, CNN reports, citing data from the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Why it matters: Nearly 476 police officers have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic started, compared to the 93 deaths as a result of gunfire in the same time period, according to ODMP and CNN.

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Congressman criminally charged with lying to feds

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) has been indicted on charges he falsified records and lied to federal investigators probing an illegal foreign donation scheme, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.

Driving the news: DOJ says a Fortenberry associate, who later cooperated with investigators, informed him he'd likely received illegal donations from an intermediary for a foreign national, but that Fortenberry denied any knowledge of such a scheme when contacted by the FBI.