Copenhagen, April 1 : The slow vaccination campaigns in many European countries are protracting the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Europe office of the World Health Organization (WHO).
WHO regional director Hans Henri Kluge said the vaccine roll-out was “unacceptably slow”, reports dpa news agency.
“Let me be clear, we must speed up the process by ramping up manufacturing, reducing barriers to administering vaccines, and using every single vial we have in stock, now,” Kluge said.
“And as long as coverage remains low, we need to apply the same public health and social measures as we have in the past.”
Ultimately, vaccines were the “best way out of this pandemic”, said Kluge.
WHO Europe counts more than 50 countries as belonging to the continent.
In this area, only 10 per cent of the total population have received their first jab, and only 4 per cent are fully vaccinated with two shots.
Accelerating vaccinations was now decisive, while the number of new infections in the European region increases in all population groups except people over 80, said Kluge’s office.
With 1.6 million new cases and 24,000 deaths last week, the majority of countries in Europe are currently seeing a rise in infections which was very worrying, the office said.