Monday, January 24

The EU believes that “in a few months” half of COVID infections will be caused by omicron


It seems more contagious. Although studies are still lacking to confirm the transmissibility and severity of the omicron variant. This is stated by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in a report published this Thursday.

Germany ends restrictions on the unvaccinated and raises mandatory immunization

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“First detected on November 11 in Botswana,” says the community body, “the number of countries reporting omicron cases globally and in the EU continues to rise.” Of course, the ECDC warns that “there are a series of uncertainties around omicron in terms of transmissibility, severity and potential for immune escape, although preliminary data suggest a substantial advantage over the delta variant.” In other words, it seems that omicron is moving faster.

“According to the mathematical model carried out by the ECDC,” the entity continues, “there are indications that omicron could cause more than half of all SARS-CoV-2 infections in the EU in the coming months.”

Thus, the ECDC advises that “the greater the growth advantage of omicron over delta and the greater its circulation in Europe, the shorter the time until omicron causes the majority of SARS-CoV-2 infections.”

The director of the agency, Andrea Ammon, explained: “We are monitoring and evaluating the spread of omicron, but there are still a lot of factors that can change the dynamics, and the data we have so far is limited.”

Ammon has stated that “a multi-level approach is needed to delay any further spread of omicron in the EU.” Thus, the ECDC director considers “essential” the “vaccines for those who have not yet been vaccinated or who have not completed their vaccination cycle, and booster doses for those over 40 years.”

Ammon has also insisted that “non-pharmacological measures have been shown to be effective in reducing transmission and should continue to be applied depending on the epidemiological situation, such as physical distancing, adequate ventilation in closed spaces and working from home if you get sick.” The ECDC also recalls that “improvements in tracking and stricter management of contacts could help delay the establishment of the omicron variant in the EU.”

Along the lines of the European Commission, the Center for Disease Control maintains that “temporary measures related to travel should be considered in light of the most recent epidemiological situation, and should be reviewed periodically as new data emerge.”

Thus, the ECDC supports “including tests and quarantines of travelers who have recently returned from affected countries and the sequencing of cases identified among travelers.”

Mandatory vaccination?

“There are 150 million Europeans who are not vaccinated.” This is how blunt the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was on Wednesday during the presentation of a communication in response to the omicron variant that repeats what has already been said by the Community Executive in the past. “Get vaccinated, get the booster dose, maintain social distance and wear a mask,” summarized Von der Leyen this Wednesday, who also announced that the Pifzer vaccine for children from 5 years will be available in the EU from December 13th. In addition, he has said that between now and March there will be plenty of vaccines in the 27 to vaccinate all of Europe with the booster dose.

“On a personal basis”, Von der Leyen said when asked about compulsory vaccination, which some countries are imposing, “two years ago we would not have imagined this horrible pandemic, we have vaccines that save lives but are not used, and this entails a enormous healthcare cost. 66% of the European population is vaccinated, that means that there are a third, 150 million, who are not. It is true that there are small children and other people who cannot be vaccinated due to some disease. But it is true that this is an understandable and appropriate debate that we must face. It needs a discussion, a common approach and a discussion that we must have. ”



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