a Europe It’s back to being the epicenter of a pandemic COVID-19, which has led some countries to consider a return to unpopular lockdowns before Christmas, and has widened the debate over whether vaccines alone can tame Corona Virus.
The continent accounts for more than half of the world’s average infections in the past seven days and nearly half of the recent deaths, according to Reuters statistics, the highest levels since last April, when the virus began spreading in Italy.
This setback comes as successful vaccination campaigns stabilize before the winter months and the flu season.
About 65% of residents of the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, have had two doses, according to European Union data, but the pace has slowed in recent months.
Vaccine administration in southern European countries is about 80%, but reluctance to distribute is hampering distribution in Central and Eastern Europe and Russia, causing disease outbreaks that can strain health systems.
Germany, France and the Netherlands are also seeing a rise in infections, showing the challenge even governments with high acceptance rates face and quelling hopes that vaccines will mean a return to normal.
Hospitalizations and deaths are much lower than they were a year ago, and wide national differences in vaccine use and measures such as social distancing make it difficult to draw conclusions about the entire region.
Virologists and health experts told Reuters that a combination of lowered vaccines in some parts, declining immunity between the first vaccinations, relaxation with masks and separating them as governments loosen restrictions over the summer is likely to be responsible for the current situation facing Europe.
“If there is one thing you learn from this, it is your lack of complacency,” said Lawrence Young, a virologist at Warwick Medical School in the UK.
The latest World Health Organization (WHO) report for the week ending November 7 showed that Europe, including Russia, was the only region with a 7% increase in cases, while other regions reported declines or trends to stabilize.
Similarly, the report noted a 10% increase in deaths on the continent, while other regions showed reversals.
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