The European Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakides, warned today that Europe is mired in a new wave of the pandemic of coronavirus and regretted that this time it is a health crisis driven by people who have not been vaccinated.
In a parliamentary debate on the coordination of measures in different European countries given the recent increase in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, Kyriakides stressed that his main message to the European Parliament is that “vaccines work” and he insisted that “they continue to be a key weapon in our arsenal.”
“Many people, young and old, would have been in a much worse situation had it not been for the record development of COVID-19 vaccination programs. But now we face a pandemic driven by the unvaccinated”, Said the Cypriot commissioner.
Kyriakides admitted that the rising numbers of infections, even in areas where the vaccination rate is high, are “unfortunately fueling doubts about vaccines” and called for “everyone to take a firm stance” against it.
“There is no doubt that vaccines are effective against the most severe disease and protect against hospitalizations and loss of life. Even with the dominant delta variant, which is more transmissible and serious, deaths are still being avoided, “he said, while calling for” non-pharmaceutical “measures such as masks or social distance to also be maintained.
The European Commission, he said, is in contact with the countries most affected by the new increases in infections, Those with the lowest vaccination rates”, To offer support in the fight against disinformation about immunizations, mobilize resources from the European Civil Protection Mechanism and boost the administration of the vaccine.
Kyriakides also confirmed that the European Commission is preparing a proposal to update the EU recommendation on non-essential travel within the European Union this week, as well as another for trips to the European Union from third countries.
Regarding the restrictions that are being imposed again by some European countries, such as Austria or Germany, the Cypriot commissioner recalled that Brussels “cannot force coordination” in an area in which the main competence lies with each government, but he insisted on the “success” of the covid digital certificate that many countries are using for citizens to prove their health status.
Europe is facing a new wave of covid-19 infections, so several countries have decided to tighten the restrictions. On Friday, Austria announced that it will confine the population again from Monday and that the anticovid vaccination will become mandatory in February.
A few weeks ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) showed its “major concern” for the situation of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe and urged countries to introduce social and public health measures in the face of a “real threat”.
Although the increase in cases is generalized in all age groups, the WHO highlighted the “rapid” increase in the elderly as more worrying, since 75% of deaths are of people over 65 years of age.
And if there is no reaction and transmission is maintained at these levels, there could be half a million deaths in the region between now and February 1, with 43 countries in a situation of “high or maximum pressure”In their health systems, according to WHO projections.
(With information from EFE)