News World Fearing autumn COVID wave, EU urges earlier, broader flu vaccination

Fearing autumn COVID wave, EU urges earlier, broader flu vaccination

 

The European Union executive urged member states on Wednesday to launch earlier and broader vaccination campaigns against flu this year to reduce the risk of simultaneous influenza and COVID-19 outbreaks in the autumn.

The European Commission wants to head off the risk of hospitals being again overwhelmed by a surge of patients, as happened at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe in March and April.

“Simultaneous outbreaks of seasonal influenza and COVID-19 would place a considerable strain on health systems,” the Commission said in a document that lists actions needed to gird for a possible large second wave of COVID-19 in the autumn.

To avoid what the Commission’s vice president, Margaritis Schinas, called “a cocktail of risks,” it said EU governments this year should buy more shots against influenza and increase the number of people who are vaccinated.

They should also, the Commission said, begin vaccinating people this month, instead of waiting until October, when flu vaccination drives traditionally begin in Europe.

Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said governments should fight “vaccine hesitancy” to achieve these results, referring to people’s growing scepticism about vaccinations which led to the resurgence of certain diseases, such as measles, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The recommendations are not binding on EU governments, which throughout the crisis have often applied different measures to tackle the pandemic.

“Coordination has been a big challenge,” Kyriakides told a news conference, noting however that the 27 EU states had stepped up joint actions as the crisis unfolded.

To increase their readiness ahead of possible new large outbreaks, the Commission also called on states to test more people for coronavirus infections and set up efficient contact tracing systems.

Brussels wants governments to use contact tracing apps which are operable across EU borders. But at this stage only ten of the 27 EU states have launched such applications

(Reuters)

Top Stories

France recalls ambassador to Ankara over Erdogan comments

  France condemned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s remarks questioning the mental health of President Macron and recalled its ambassador to Ankara for consultations. The French...

130 cases today, most from private initiative-28 patients in hospital

  One hundred and thirty new Covid-19 cases were announced today, out of 4 thousand 285 tests, taking the total number of confirmed patients to...

Greece approaches four-digit covid cases, 935 today

  The second coronavirus wave is climaxing in Greece as it recorded 935 cases today, the highest number since the second wave begun gathering pace...

Erdogan says Macron needs ‘mental treatment’ over attitude to Muslims

  Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan launched yet another scathing tirade of insults on his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, saying he needed mental treatment over his...

We are independent, Michaelides tells AG over golden passports

  We are not under anyone's custodianship, the Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides told Attorney General Yiorgos Savvides, who earlier called on his office to stay...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...