We are currently experiencing the largest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, EU Health and Food Security Commissioner, Stella Kyriakides, said on Wednesday, adding that based on the recent data of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) the epidemilogocal situation in the EU and the broader European area is described as particularly worrisome.
In statements to Cypriot journalists in Strasbourg, where the European Parliament plenary is meeting this week, Kyriakides underlined the need for citizens to be vaccinated against COVID-19, stressing that getting vaccinated is an issue of personal and social responsibility to protect ourselves, those close to us and the society in general.
Kyriakides called on parents to vaccinate their children, noting that vaccines for children have been approved by the European Medical Agency. Moreover, she said that women who are pregnant need to be vaccinated to protect themselves and their babies, noting that this is the message given by the European Society of Gynaecological Oncology, with which she has discussed this issue.
As regards the issue of medicines, Kyriakides said that three medicines have been approved by the EMA and that she expects that two more will be approved this week.
Kyriakides noted that they will proceed with a joint procurement, so that member states will be able to place their orders and have access to the medicines simultaneously. She said that a portfolio with 10 possible therapeutic schemes has been set up.
Referring to the current situation, the Commissioner said that currently 90% of the COVID-19 cases concern the Delta variant, adding that at the same time, the Omicron variant is spreading really quickly. She noted that it is expected that the quick spread of the Omicron variant will create a new pressure on the member states` health systems.
Kyriakides said that currently 797 cases are traced in every 100,000 samples. She added that 66% of the European population has been vaccinated with both doses, and 62 million boosters were administered until yesterday in the EU.
Kyriakides noted that vaccination is now more important than ever as things are right now, because we have the Delta variant and the speedy spread of the Omicron variant.
She stressed that vaccines give an important protection so that those affected by COVID-19 do not face serious health problems or die.
The Commissioner said that enough doses of the vaccines are available for the European population including children.
As she said approximately 17 million more doses were administered last week, however more things have to be done.
She also noted that the message that needs to be sent out is for citizens to get vaccinated and that the booster protects them.
Kyriakides said that she has asked for a targeted awareness campaign in the member states for the groups of people who have not been vaccinated, to tackle misinformation by giving information based on scientific data.