Europe says to lead global COVID vaccine production by year end, targets "global immunity" by summer

BARCELONA, March 26 (Reuters) - Europe should be the world leader in producing coronavirus vaccines by the end of the year with 52 factories taking part in the process across the continent, European Union Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said on Friday in Spain.

Breton also said Europe should have vaccinated enough people in the summer, possibly around mid-July, to achieve a “global immunity” level.

By the end of the year Europe should have capacity to produce between two and three billion doses, the commissioner said at the Barcelona plant of pharmaceutical company Reig Jofre which will produce Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine in the second quarter of the year. (Reporting by Joan Faus and Ingrid Melander; Writing by Nathan Allen)