EU: ‘Fight against time’ against the pandemic

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Despite the constant spread of the “Micron” mutation, the European Commission wants to keep the borders open. However, he insists on speeding up vaccinations.

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The “Omicron” variant is spreading to most EU member states. In Brussels, the European Commission warns that borders must remain open, in contrast to what happened in the first wave of the pandemic. At the same time, however, the EU executive is calling on national governments to step up their efforts to get more vaccinations. In fact, the president of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, now appears receptive to a discussion about compulsory vaccination. At the moment, however, the reason belongs to the scientists, as Ursula von der Layen stressed in a press conference with the Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakidou, at the seat of the Commission.

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“At the moment we do not know much about the new mutation, but we do know enough to worry,” she said. “From our experience with the Delta mutation we also know that we have been engaged in a race against time. Until we learn more – and it will take two or three weeks, as scientists tell us – we will have to do everything. what can we do “.

“Success” the European certificate

Ursula von der Leyen stresses that the European vaccination certificate was a “great success” and that this is not going to change with the Omicron mutation. The problem, however, is that “one third of the population in the EU has not yet been vaccinated. We are talking about 150 million people, that is a large number. Of course, not everyone can be vaccinated. There are young children, there are people with a specific medical history, but “The majority can be vaccinated. So we need to have this discussion, encourage vaccination and possibly consider compulsory vaccination.”

Until now, the European certificate was a sufficient condition for a trip abroad. Last but not least, Ireland and Portugal are asking for a negative entry test, even from those with a European certificate. Other countries could follow their example. The EU acknowledges that Member States may impose additional health measures if they deem it necessary, but points out that these measures should be specific to individuals and not involve the closure of borders.

“We are preparing for the worst …”

Health matters remain the sole responsibility of the Member States. Germany and Austria are already moving in the direction of compulsory vaccination for all. Compulsory vaccination for specific occupational or age groups is provided by France, Italy and Greece. However, the Commission is doing everything it can to coordinate the policies of national governments. This includes the proposal to introduce a nine-month deadline for the acceptance of vaccination certificates. As Ursula von der Leyen points out, “we must hope for the best, but at the same time prepare for the worst …”

Byrd Riegert

Edited by: Giannis Papadimitriou

Source: Deutsche Welle

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Source From: Capital

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