WHO Europe head says vaccines prescribe ‘absolute last resort’

FILE PHOTO: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) press conference at Eigtveds Pakhus, Copenhagen
FILE PHOTO: World Health Organization’s Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge speaks during a press conference on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Eigtveds Pakhus, Copenhagen, Denmark March 27, 2020. Ida Guldbaek Arentsen / Ritzau Scanpix / via REUTERS

December 7, 2021

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Mandatory vaccination against the coronavirus is an “absolute last resort,” the World Health Organization’s top official in Europe said on Tuesday.

A growing number of countries in Europe, including Germany, are debating whether to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory after Austria announced in November that it would make vaccinations mandatory from January 1. February 1 of the following year, causing many large protests.

WHO Europe Director Hans Kluge told reporters: “The mandate around vaccination is an absolute last resort and should only be applied when all possible options are available to improve immunization coverage. It’s over”.

The effectiveness of the mandates is very context-specific, Kluge said, adding that public trust and trust in authorities need to be considered.

“What is acceptable in one society and community may not work and be acceptable in another society and community.”

Indonesia, Micronesia and Turkmenistan have also mandated vaccination against the coronavirus for all adults.

(Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard and Stine Jacobsen; Editing by Alex Richardson and Emelia Sithole-Matarise) WHO Europe head says vaccines prescribe ‘absolute last resort’


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