BRUSSELS - European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says the first coronavirus vaccinations could start by Christmas.

She's appealing to the 27 EU member countries to urgently prepare logistical chains to handle the rollout of hundreds of millions of vaccine doses.

She said Wednesday that "there's finally light at the end of the tunnel." But she warned that millions of syringes, cold chains, vaccination centres and trained personnel must be prepared. Brussels has agreements with six potential vaccine suppliers and is working on a seventh contract.

The deals allow it to purchase over 1.2 billion doses, more than double the bloc's population. Von der Leyen says, though, that this Christmas will be a quiet one.