WHO Officials Speak Out On Europe's Vaccination Rate

By on
Unlike its rivals, AstraZeneca has been selling its Covid vaccine on a not-for-profit basis.
Unlike its rivals, AstraZeneca has been selling its Covid vaccine on a not-for-profit basis.

The World Health Organization (WHO) European Region has stated that Europe is falling behind in vaccination rates, warning that its death toll could surpass two million by this spring. With nearly 4,200 COVID-related deaths happening in Europe per day, the virus has become the primary cause of death in the continent. 

“We’ve only got 54% of the one billion people living in Europe fully vaccinated,” Robb Butler, WHO's executive director for Europe, said to CNBC. “There are [around] 45% who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated, that’s a bigger issue for our policy and decision-makers right now — driving up vaccination rates.”

More officials for WHO, such as regional director Dr. Hans Kluge, said that getting vaccinated should be a priority for Europeans coming into what could be a grim winter. 

“In order to live with this virus and continue our daily lives, we need to take a ‘vaccine plus’ approach,” he said in a WHO press release Tuesday.

The vaccination rates in Europe differ vastly from nation to nation, as noted by Al Jazeera. Over 86% of the population is fully vaccinated in Portugal, compared to a mere 24.2% of Bulgarians.

Countries within the continent have recently applied restrictions in an attempt to limit infections, such as Germany, with health officials considering instituting a lockdown and implementing a vaccine mandate. 

Join the Discussion