More than half of all European adults are now fully vaccinated, the European Union said, but the milestone came as countries across the world are battling fresh outbreaks blamed on the fast-spreading Delta variant.

The EU said on Thursday that 200 million Europeans had been fully vaccinated, more than half of the adult population but still short of a 70 percent target set for the summer.

The fresh data came as German Chancellor Angela Merkel said cases in her country were rising “exponentially” and she urged more Germans to get jabs.

“The number of infections has been rising again for a few days now, with a clear and, in my opinion, worrying momentum. The whole thing is driven by the Delta variant of the coronavirus,” she

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