Officials have warned that there will be a new surge if EU countries ease restrictions
European countries with insufficient vaccination coverage are at a high risk of an increase in new coronavirus cases and deaths if they ease COVID-19 restrictions over the next few weeks, according to a new report from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
So far, more than 62 percent of the EU’s total population has been fully vaccinated, and only three of its 27 member states have fully vaccinated more than 75 percent of their residents, according to agency figures. Is.
That level of vaccine coverage is not enough to stop the virus from spreading when Covid-19 restrictions are eased, the agency warned, especially now that the highly contagious delta variant accounts for nearly all new reported coronavirus cases on the continent. is causing.
“Regardless of current vaccination coverage levels, countries should make consistent efforts to increase their vaccination coverage to all eligible age groups,” said agency director Andrea Ammon.
With new cases, hospitalizations and deaths expected to rise, if precautions are eased too soon, Ms Ammon said it may be necessary to implement COVID-19 restrictions by the end of November.
The report comes at a time when most children in the European Union have started in-person school, with no coronavirus vaccine yet authorized for use in children under the age of 12. For this reason, it is particularly important for the education system to implement preventive measures, the report said. The bloc’s drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency, said last week that it would decide in early November whether to approve the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in children under the age of 12.
As a whole, the EU is well advanced in vaccination efforts; More than 73 percent of Block’s adults are fully vaccinated. But there are vast differences from one country to another.
Eastern countries such as Romania and Bulgaria lag far behind wealthier countries in the west, putting a large part of the bloc’s population at greater risk. The agency’s report said it was important for those countries to increase their vaccination rates, by understanding why residents are not getting vaccinated and by adopting policies to specifically reach less vaccinated groups.
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