The World Health Organisation warned that Europe’s rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is “unacceptably slow” as the region records rising cases for the sixth consecutive week.
Officials from WHO’s European office said that more than 1.6 million people contracted the virus in WHO Europe’s 51 countries last week. However, just 10% of the region’s population have received at least one dose of a vaccine and 4% are fully immunised.
“Only five weeks ago, the weekly number of new cases in Europe had dipped to under one million, but now the region’s situation is more worrying than we have seen in several months,” WHO’ Europe’s regional director said in a statement on Thursday.
The increase affected every age group except people over 80, which according to the agency, reflected positive signs of the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Nearly 578 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered throughout the world according to data collected by Our World Data. 250 million of those were given out in the US, UK and Europe.
In Malta, more than 200,000 doses have been given to citizens since the rollout began on December 27th. The island ranked first among EU countries and second in Europe to the UK for the highest number of vaccines per 100 people.
This week, Health Minister Chris Fearne confirmed that one in every three Maltese adults has received a dose of a vaccine. Meanwhile, over 95% of over 80s are fully vaccinated.
Malta is using vaccines made by Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca while a fourth jab, from Johnson and Johnson, is expected to arrive in the EU on April 19th.
Tag someone who needs to know this