COVID-19 has caused global disruption on an unprecedented scale for more than a year and a half. But despite the successful development and deployment of vaccines, the coronavirus remains a major threat, and policymakers around the world are struggling to decide on the best approach to deal with new variants of Covid. For Europe in particular, the spread of the Delta variant is a source of great concern.
Today, the EU has delivered enough vaccines for 70 percent of Europeans aged 18 and over to receive their vaccines.
In a statement, Ms von der Leyen said: ” The European Union the tenu words.
“This weekend, we delivered enough vaccine to Member States to be able to fully immunize at least 70 percent of adults in the EU this month. “
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The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said last week that the Delta variant is now the dominant strain in 19 of the 28 countries, based on recent data.
As seen in the UK in June, the Delta variant also poses a risk of delaying the easing of restrictions in EU countries.
European nations are therefore faced with several options to combat the spread of the variant.
But with the vaccine rollout well underway, there is also the possibility of avoiding strict restrictions, which could help boost economies that have suffered dramatically because of the virus.
Emil N. Iftekhar and Viola Priesemann, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Göttingen, Martin McKee, professor of public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and research director of the European Observatory of Health and Policy, and Elena Petelos, vice president of health technology assessment at the European Public Health Association and lecturer in evidence-based medicine at the University of Crete, recently wrote in Politico on the spread of Delta variant in Europe.
The team brought together 32 scientists from 17 European countries, to discuss what the next steps are to deal with the Delta variant.
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“If this happens before enough people are vaccinated, it will pose an additional risk of considerable burden on hospitals – with all that it entails for health workers and patient care.
“And the seasonal effects would only increase those risks as we go through the winter. “
Alternatively, the second scenario is to maintain a low incidence of about 10 new cases per million people or less per day.
The authors added that transmission could be reduced “through the timely implementation of less stringent and locally targeted forms of physical distancing measures.”
In this situation, the company could continue in a way that looks like normal and the economy would avoid further significant damage, but it could be difficult to achieve without clear communication.
Scientists and policymakers face tough decisions on how to handle the spread of the variant over the next few months, but only time will tell how EU authorities decide to deal with the threat.