WHO Critical of Vaccine Rollout in Europe
April 5, 2021
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by Snigdh Baunthiyal

The World Health Organisation has criticised the vaccine rollout in Europe for being ‘unacceptably slow’.

WHO Director for Europe Hans Kluge said, ‘Vaccines present our best way out of this pandemic… However, the rollout of these vaccines is unacceptably slowWe must speed up the process by ramping up manufacturing, reducing barriers to administering vaccines, and using every single vial we have in stock, now’

The Director also said that the vaccine rollout has provided people with a false sense of security, which given its slow speed is not a good trend.

According to the WHO, there were 1.6 million cases and at least 24,000 deaths dues to Covid-19 in the European region as of last week.

In Europe, out of 900 million people only 10% have received the vaccine so far. Moreover, because of the rising cases, at least 27 out of 50 countries in the European region have implemented some sort of a lockdown. Europe is the second most affected region in the world. Total number of deaths because of Covid-19 will cross 1 million soon and the total number of cases will pass the 45 million mark. 

The European Union’s vaccine rollout

In the European Union, only 16% of the population has been vaccinated so far. The EU has been struggling with a shortage of vaccines and even stopped exports for 6 weeks claiming it wasn’t able to meet its domestic needs. The EU has had issues with production and distribution with Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and was slow in signing a deal with AstraZeneca.

The EU has also been in a row with the UK where the vaccination rate if now 52%. AstraZeneca has some manufacturing units in the UK.

How are European countries faring individually 

Russia

Vaccine rollout in Russia has been quite slow owing to people’s hesitation in getting vaccinated.

Serbia

More than 2 million people have been vaccinated. The population is around 7 million. The fast inoculation follows early deals with vaccine providers and approving the Chinese vaccine for use on its population as well.

France

The French Prime Minister has declared that the country is now in the third wave of the virus leading to three-week school closure and a month-long ban on domestic travel. This is the country’s third lockdown.

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