Anyone who imagines that the suspension of COVID-related measures in much of Europe means that those measures, and hence the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, are things of the past should have a look at the recent pronouncements on the subject of the European Commission, starting with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s April 27 statement on the “next pandemic phase.”
While acknowledging that the “emergency” phase of the pandemic is over—but apparently not, on her account, the pandemic as such—von der Leyen warns that “we must remain vigilant. Infection numbers are still high in the EU and many people are still dying from COVID-19 worldwide. Moreover, new variants can emerge and spread fast.”
“But we know the way forward,” she concluded, “We need to further step-up vaccination and boosting, and targeted testing.”
Note that von der Leyen does not merely say that vaccination and boosting should continue—say perhaps for particularly vulnerable groups—she says rather that they have to be “further stepped-up”! This in an EU in which, according (https://vaccinetracker.ecdc.europa.eu/public/extensions/covid-19/vaccine-tracker.html#uptake-tab) to the European CDC, nearly 85% of the adult population has already been fully vaccinated!
In the Commission press release, von der Leyen’s call for “stepped-up” COVID-19 vaccination and boosting is the first of a series of measures that member states are called on to take “before autumn.”