COVID-19 vaccination - an effective shield

Saturday, 2021-08-14 16:40:52
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France is accelerating its COVID-19 immunisation campaign. (Photo: Capital)
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NDO – In comparison to other regions of the world, Europe took very early steps in the implementation of its COVID-19 immunisation campaign.

Amidst the emergence of new and more dangerous COVID-19 variants, European countries are stepping up their efforts to further promote immunisation, from simply encouraging the people to the use of more drastic measures, in order to strengthen their “shield” and repel the pandemic.

In a move to encourage the people to get vaccinated against the disease, from mid-October, France will stop carrying out free PCR and antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2, excluding cases with doctors’ prescriptions. This measure aims to help the French government to avoid having to implement strict pandemic prevention measures in the event of new variants. French President Emmanuel Macron has decided to roll out booster shots for the elderly and the vulnerable from September.

Similarly, the German government will end free-of-charge rapid COVID-19 tests from this October. Accordingly, people who have yet to get a vaccine dose will have to pay for the tests themselves if they want to participate in community activities, except for those not recommended for vaccination or who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons.

To date, Germany has fully vaccinated 55% of the population but now the inoculation rate in the country is slowing down. The German government hoped that the cessation of free COVID-19 tests and the application of “vaccine passports” will motivate those still hesitant to get immunised.

The COVID-19 vaccination speed in Europe is showing signs of slowing down, partly due to misinformation such as vaccination causing infertility or vaccines altering human DNA. Given that situation, some countries in the “Old Continent” have applied bolder measures to ensure the effectiveness of their COVID-19 vaccine rollout. In Belgium, the “digital green certificate” for COVID-19 officially took effect on August 13 regarding the events with mass gatherings, especially at stadiums and festivals. Meanwhile, Italy requires its medical staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or they will be suspended from work.

Despite not eliminating death completely, COVID-19 vaccines, as confirmed by experts, are the most effective “weapon” to protect the world from the threats posed by the pandemic. Therefore, the governments of European countries are encouraging those hesitant people to uphold their responsibility in getting immunised in order to avoid a scenario of reimposed lockdowns, and also as a result, safeguarding both themselves and the community against the disease.