The World Health Organization’s top European officials said Tuesday that imposing a COVID-19 vaccine obligation should be an “absolute last resort.” This is because more and more countries in Europe are considering deploying such measures.
“Vaccination obligations are an absolute last resort and apply only when all viable options for improving vaccination uptake have been exhausted,” said Hans, Director of WHO Europe.・ Kluge said at a press conference.
Kruge told reporters that “public confidence and public confidence” in the authorities and the inclusion of vaccination should be taken into account before imposing vaccination requirements.
“The effectiveness of mandates is very context-sensitive,” says Kluge. “What is accepted in one society or community may be effective and unacceptable in another.”
“Ultimately, mandates should never contribute to the growing social inequality in health and access to social services,” Kruge said. Added..
His remarks were made shortly after Austria became Europe’s first mandated country for COVID-19 vaccination and the measures came into effect on February 1, next year.
Neighboring countries are discussing this move in the face of a surge in infections in the EU and concerns about a newly detected coronavirus variant called Omicron, which was reported to WHO from South Africa in late November.
Germany’s next prime minister, Olaf Scholz, reportedly supported imposing vaccination obligations on everyone by February. According to POLITICO..
The European Union’s public health agency said Thursday that new strains could cause more than half of all COVID-19 infections in Europe within a few months.
“The current problem is Delta, but winning today’s Delta is to beat Omicron tomorrow before it finally surges,” Kruge told reporters.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said last week that it was “understandable and appropriate” to consider mandating block members to receive COVID-19 vaccination.
“How can we encourage and potentially think of compulsory vaccination within the European Union? This requires discussion,” she said. “This requires a common approach, but that’s an argument I think I have to take the lead in.”
The decision to mandate a vaccine is made by the individual country, not at the EU level.
Dr. Catherine Smallwood, Senior Head of Emergency for WHO Europe, Told Euronews Countries need to develop other measures to control viral infections before considering essential vaccines.
“When countries have to resort to last resorts such as blockades and discriminatory interventions that really create distrust and indifference at the population level, they are not using the tools we have available in the right way.” Smallwood said. ..