Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said on Wednesday that an estimated 60 to 80 per cent of the EU population has now been infected. According to the European Union Health Authority, cases reported to date have affected about 30 percent of the European population. If you add in unreported infections, the number could be as high as 350 million, or about 77 percent.
Kyriakides said that due to the recent decline in the number of infections and deaths related to Covid-19, the European Union is now moving away from mass testing and case reporting. However, recurrence of cases is expected as another mutation in the virus is likely.
Therefore, the committee called on the countries of the international community to prepare to be able to return to the emergency situation and to intensify vaccination campaigns. On Wednesday, the Brussels Authority presented guidelines for moving from the state of emergency of the past months and years to a long-term approach to the pandemic.
Call for vaccination campaigns
Specifically, according to the declaration, the countries of the European Union should intensify campaigns of vaccinations and reinforcements. Only 64 per cent of the EU population has received a booster dose and there are still 90 million people who are not fully immunized in the EU, Kyriakides said. The vaccination of children should also be promoted before the start of the new school year. According to the document, the vaccination rate for children aged 5-9 – the youngest age group for which vaccines are approved – is less than 15 percent in Europe. In the case of young people between the ages of 15 and 17, the proportion is over 70 percent.
At the same time, the notice said, countries should adopt a long-term system of testing and monitoring for the virus, which could include other respiratory illnesses such as influenza in addition to the coronavirus. More research needs to be done on potential viral variants. In general, health systems need to be strengthened so that they are prepared for the next potential coronavirus wave.
Modified vaccines are possible at the end of summer
In order to ensure the long-term supply of vaccines, their production capacities must be kept under the supervision of the new European Health Authority HERA.
Kyriakides also said that vaccines adapted to CoV variants should be approved as soon as possible when they become available. “I would say that approval of modified vaccines is not expected before the end of the summer,” she said. The companies have been working on such vaccines for the past few months and are constantly sharing information with the committee on the latest developments.
Expected flat level in Austria
Austria has more than four million people who are officially considered to have recovered. The number of cases is currently still declining. However, this will not continue in the medium term according to the estimates of the consortium in its new update on Wednesday. Infection should reach a constant level and not as low as in the past two summers.
Cases have continued to decline, with the rate of decline continuing to moderate slightly. say experts from the Vienna University of Technology, MedUni Vienna and Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG). Looking to the medium-term future, it has been emphasized that seasonal palliative effects are currently opposing the gradual decline in acquired immune protection against new infection and re-infection. In addition, the facilities that took place on April 16 have come into full force.
According to forecasts, the infection for 7 days should range from 350 to 580 cases per 100,000 inhabitants next Wednesday. With regard to the situation in Austrian hospitals, the average age of patients has increased. This effect is currently slowing the decline in hospital occupancy, she said.
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