vaccination in Europe is “unacceptably slow”

The distribution of vaccines against covid-19 in Europe is “unacceptably slow”, said the European head of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday, which creates the fear that delays in vaccination will prolong the pandemic as cases of variants spread.

WHO Director for Europe, Hans Kluge, Moscow 23/09/2020 Sputnik / Alexander Astafyev / Pool via REUTERS

Photo: Reuters

Only 10% of the region’s population has already received one dose of the vaccine and 4% both doses, said Hans Kluge.

“The distribution of these vaccines is unacceptably slow,” he said in a statement. “We need to speed up the process by stepping up manufacturing, lowering barriers to administering vaccines and using all the ampoules we have in stock, now.”

Europe was slower than the United Kingdom and the United States not only to order vaccines from companies last year, but to approve them. Even after they were approved by the bloc, European vaccination rates are largely behind British and American efforts.

Kluge said that new infections in Europe are increasing across all age groups, except among people over 80 – a sign that vaccinations targeting older groups are working, but that intermittent distribution is leaving young people vulnerable .

“While worrying variants continue to spread and the pressure on hospitals is growing, religious holidays are causing increasing mobility,” the WHO said in its statement. “Speeding up vaccination is crucial.”

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