Vaccination obligation in the EU, von der Leyen: “Let’s discuss it”

The president of the European Commission: “One third of the population without injection”

Vaccination obligation, the EU opens: word from Urisula von der Leyen. It is time for the European Union to start “discussing” the opportunity to introduce the compulsory vaccine against covid-19, said the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, answering a question at a press conference in Brussels regarding the sanctions envisaged by Greece for those over 60 who refuse to be vaccinated.

And recalling that there are still about “150 million” of individuals who have not received the vaccination, even though many of them could protect themselves from the disease caused by Sars-CoV-2, he premised that whether or not to impose the obligation to be vaccinated “is absolute competence of the Member States. On this it is not up to me to give any recommendations “.

Then he added: “If you ask me what my personal position is, two or three years ago I never thought I’d see what we’re seeing now. We have a horrible pandemic, we have life-saving vaccines, but they are not used properly everywhere. Therefore, this is a huge healthcare cost. If we look at the numbers, we now have 77% of the adults vaccinated in the EU, and if we take the total population it is 66%, which means that one third of the European population is not vaccinated. There are 150 million people: there are many “.

Of course, he continued, “not everyone can be vaccinated: very young children, for example, or people in special health conditions, but the vast majority could be. Therefore, I think it is understandable and appropriate to conduct this discussion now, on how we can encourage and potentially think about compulsory vaccination within the EU. For this we need to discuss. We need a common approach, but I think – he said again – that it is a discussion that must be held “.

Omicron variant chapter: the contracts signed by the European Commission with the pharmaceutical companies for the supply of anti Covid vaccines provide for the possibility that the preparations are “adapted” to the variants of Sars-CoV-2, a process that would take about “one hundred days” .

“In the event that we see – said von der Leyen – that the Omicron variant of Sars-CoV-2 does not fully respond to vaccination, we have precautionary measures in place. The scientists are already working on it. In the contracts we have the possibility to update the Vaccines. Scientists tell us it takes about 100 days “to adapt a vaccine to the variant. The Commission, he continued, is also working with the EMA to “speed up” the authorization of updated drugs. “Basically, we hope for the best, preparing for the worst.”