European Countries Are at Risk of Autumn Covid Surge, ECDC Says
(Bloomberg) -- European countries with lower vaccination rates could see a surge in Covid-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths over the next two months, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
The EU agency, in its latest Rapid Risk Assessment, said the virus’s high level of circulation within the population puts poorly inoculated countries in the EU and European Economic Area at risk between now and the end of November. The group also cited the concern that even vaccinated people can experience severe outcomes from infection.
“Forecasts show that a combination of high vaccination coverage and effective contact reduction is crucial for reducing the risk of high Covid-19 burden on the health care systems this autumn,” Andrea Ammon, director of the ECDC, said in a statement Thursday.
Some 61% of people in the EU and EEA have been fully vaccinated, according to the ECDC, while only three countries -- Malta, Portugal and Iceland -- have inoculated more than 75% of their populations. Bulgaria ranks lowest among EU nations, with 19% fully immunized, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker.
Those countries with a higher vaccination rate face a lower risk unless there is a “rapid decline of vaccine effectiveness due to waning immunity,” the ECDC said.
The agency also anticipates that more Covid infections among children will be reported in the next few months, with measures such as social distancing crucial to curb transmission in schools. Vaccination against the flu will also lessen the impact on both individuals and health care systems, the ECDC said.
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