By Laura Kemp • 07 December 2021 • 14:06
WHO says compulsory vaccination is “last resort”
Today, December 7, The European office of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said compulsory vaccination against covid would only be used as a “last resort” and urged to exhaust other measures earlier.
“The obligation regarding the vaccine is an absolute last resort and only applicable when all viable options to improve vaccination rates have been exhausted, “ WHO-Europe director Hans Kluge said at a press conference.
Kluge made a call to “stabilise” the pandemic crisis, for which it is necessary to promote vaccination, including the booster dose, and measures such as the use of masks and indoor ventilation or increase the number of tests and adopt rigorous protocols.
The new omicron variant is increasing and the right thing to do is to be “worried” and “prudent,” said Kluge, who stressed the need to wait for more data because it is “too soon” and to keep a “cool” head.
“The problem now is Delta and any success against Delta today is a gain compared to omicron for tomorrow,” said Kluge, insisting that it is about stabilising the pandemic and that this does not affect a single variant.
The WHO also urged creating safe environments for children in schools to avoid the closure of centres and distance education, since the incidence of new cases in children aged 5 to 11 years is two or three times higher than in other age groups.
For this reason, he considers that the use of masks, ventilation and testing on a regular basis should be “standard” in all primary schools and the vaccination of children should be “discussed and considered” at the national level.
“Vaccination of the youngest children not only reduces their role in the transmission of COVID-19, but also protects them from severe cases associated with long-lasting COVID or multi-system inflammatory syndromes,” Kluge said.
WHO-Europe noted that since its last appearance a month ago, 120,000 more people have died from Covid and the region, made up of 53 countries in Europe and Central Asia, has reached 10 million cases.
By the end of this week, one of every ten people in it will have been infected with the virus.
The cumulative death toll from Covid exceeded 1.5 million two weeks ago and the death toll has reached “a high plateau,” with about 4,100 deaths per day (double the number at the end of September,) although “significantly” below previous peaks.
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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