Only 13% of Europeans have received at least one dose of covid-19 vaccine
WHO asks Denmark to share AstraZeneca doses
So far, 171 million doses of the seven available covid-19 vaccines have been administered across Europe in the various countries of the continent. This means only 13% of the European population has received at least one dose of the vaccine and 6% have completed the treatment with two doses. These are the data given this morning at a press conference by WHO regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge. Of these 171 million, 100 million doses have been administered in the countries of the European Union, as Commission president Ursula von der Leyen pointed out on Thursday in a tweet in which she announced that she had just received the first dose of the vaccine herself.
Kluge has warned that the pandemic situation in Europe is still "serious", when just last week deaths reached one million and 1.6 million new cases are confirmed a week (160 people every minute). Although "there are early signs of a slowdown in transmission in some countries," Kluge wanted to make it clear that this is no reason to be confident, since "hospitalisations are still very high and reports are coming in that ICU capacity has been exceeded in several parts of Europe".
The only group in which a decrease in infections is detected is the over-80s, thanks to the great vaccination effort focused on this population. Since February, the proportion of people over 80 with covid-19 has been falling, to about 30% today, "the lowest of the entire pandemic," Kluge said.
Several countries ask Denmark for doses
After Denmark announced yesterday thatit would bring vaccination with AstraZeneca to a complete halt in the country, the WHO asked the Danish government to "share" the doses of this vaccine it had acquired with other countries that may need them, in the form of "donations" or some other system that does not involve reselling them, Kluge said.
In fact, Denmark has already received interest from other countries. Lithuania, Latvia and the Czech Republic have already expressed interest in receiving doses from Denmark. In several tweets this morning, the governments of these countries have made their interest clear. Latvian Health Minister Daniels Pavluts said he will contact Copenhagen to find out "how to order" these vaccines, while Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamácek announced contacts to try to "buy all AstraZeneca vaccines from Denmark"
"We are looking for vaccines all over the world. We are ready to buy AstraZeneca from Denmark. On Monday I am going to Moscow, where I want to discuss possible deliveries of Sputnik V after its approval by the EMA," the Czech minister's tweet read. However, Kluge urged that the vaccines not be resold. WHO experts also noted that Denmark's decision to dispense with AstraZeneca has weighed the fact that in that country the pandemic is "under control".
On the US's suspension of Janssen vaccines, Kluge said only that they are investigating the matter, while continuing to recommend the use of AstraZeneca: "The risk of thrombus is much higher among covid-19 patients than among those who receive the vaccine".