(Belga) The European Union disease agency on Wednesday called on member states to “urgently” take measures in the face of the epidemic rebound underway in Europe and the risk of a “very high” health burden in December and January.
In a message from its director Andrea Ammon, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) also recommends a so-called “booster” vaccine dose for all over 18s, with priority for those over 40. The European agency also calls for raising the general level of vaccination in the EU, especially in the most backward countries. The general level of vaccination in the European Union and the three countries of the European Economic Area, still below 70% of the total population, “leaves a large vaccination gap which cannot be filled quickly and gives a large space to the virus to spread, “says ECDC. “We urgently need to focus on bridging this immunity gap, offering + booster + doses to all adults and reintroducing non-pharmaceutical measures,” Ammon said in a video statement. His warning comes the day after that of the WHO Europe, which said Tuesday feared 700,000 additional deaths by spring across its area of fifty countries in Europe and Central Asia. The latest ECDC scenarios “indicate that the potential burden of the delta variant in the EU will be very high in December and January unless public health measures are implemented now, in combination with efforts to increase the share of vaccinated in the total population “. In the European Union, 67.7% of the population has received two doses of the vaccine but the differences are staggering between countries. Thus, according to figures from Tuesday, only 24.2% of Bulgarians are vaccinated against 86.7% of Portuguese. (Belga)