Europe

WHO calls European vaccine campaigns ‘unacceptably slow’

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A World Health Organization (WHO) official on Thursday said the COVID-19 vaccine rollouts of European nations are “unacceptably slow” and could potentially prolong the coronavirus pandemic.

The Associated Press reported that WHO regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, said only 10 percent of Europe’s population has received a single dose of a vaccine and only 4 percent are fully vaccinated.

“As long as coverage remains low, we need to apply the same public health and social measures as we have in the past, to compensate for delayed schedules,” he said, adding that Europe is the second most-affected region in the world in terms of new COVID-19 infections.

Kluge warned against developing “a false sense of security” for having started vaccine campaigns in Europe.

“Now is not the time to relax measures,” he said.

France announced another regional lockdown in March, citing a new surge in coronavirus cases. On Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron said the lockdown would be extended nationwide for one month.

“The region’s situation is more worrying than we have seen in several months,” said Dorit Nitzan, WHO’s emergency manager in Europe. “Many countries are introducing new measures that are necessary and everyone should follow as much as they can.”

Tags COVID-19 vaccine Emmanuel Macron Europe World Health Organization

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