Similar goal, different routes: US and EU aim for maximum vaccine rates

Aarschot, a Belgian town, has a vaccination rate 94%. But Mayor GwendolynRutten is concerned that her community is too close to Brussels, where the rate is 63%. She can't do much about it.

Similar goal, different routes: US and EU aim for maximum vaccine rates

Aarschot, a Belgian town, has a vaccination rate 94%. But Mayor GwendolynRutten is concerned that her community is too close to Brussels, where the rate is 63%. She can't do much about it.

TheEditor
TheEditor
19 September 2021 Sunday 17:07
470 Reads
Similar goal, different routes: US and EU aim for maximum vaccine rates

She hopes that vaccination will be mandated by the government. Rutten stated in a recent interview that vaccination is mandatory because otherwise, it would be dangerous for others.

However, few countries of the European Union have issued mandates. Instead, they require people to show proof that they have been immunized, passed a negative test, or are recovering from COVID-19 in order to take part in more activities, sometimes even to work.

The U.S. has been facing significant vaccine resistance and more stringent requirements are now the norm. Last week, President Biden issued mandates to cover large populations of people. Sometimes there is no alternative but to test.

Despite seemingly divergent strategies, officials from both the U.S.A. and EU are still trying to answer the same question: How to increase vaccination rates and stop a pandemic which has repeatedly defied efforts to control it?

The apparent divide may actually be shrinking. Although they don't call their restrictions mandatory, certain European countries make it so difficult for people without the vaccine that it could be the same thing.

Biden has issued sweeping vaccination requirements for up to 100 million Americans in an unusual move for a country that is known for its emphasis on individual freedoms. This includes many employees of the private sector and many health care workers. Employers with over 100 employees will have to be immunized every week. Federal contractors and executive branch employees will also need to be immunized. There are a few exceptions .

It is possible that the U.S. may be more aggressive in its policy. At the end of July, the EU, which was initially behind the United States in terms vaccinations, was able to surpass it. According to Our World In Data, 60% of the EU's population had been vaccinated as of Thursday. This compares to 53% in the United States. Both countries have different immunization rates.

Biden and other American officials have called the current phase a "pandemic among the unvaccinated" with data showing that almost all COVID-19-related deaths in the U.S. now occur in those who were not vaccinated. Officials from the EU have used the same description to describe ongoing outbreaks in their respective countries.

It's difficult for the EU to impose vaccine requirements since national health policies are the responsibility 27 countries. Top EU officials continue to walk on eggshells regarding the issue. Three EU commissioners were asked by The Associated Press if mandatory vaccination might be part of the solution. However, none answered the question.

"This is beyond our reach. "This is not within our remit," EU Vice President Margaritis Schinas stated. She then added: "But, if there's a message we want to send to member states, and through member countries to the European citizens, it's 'vaccinate. vaccinate. vaccinate.'

Thierry Breton, Internal Market Commissioner, stressed that supply would not be an issue and that the bloc would "be prepared for everything which was needed." This highlights that such debates are only possible in rich countries, while many low-income countries still struggle to offer their citizens a chance.

While officials in Brussels cannot impose a mandate to the EU's 450m citizens, many countries are increasing restrictions for those not vaccinated. Some countries require vaccines for certain groups. Slovenia has made this clear by imposing them on government employees. There is no way to test.

However, regular testing is more common in the EU for people who have not been vaccinated.

You would like to see "The Last Judgment", a Flemish Primitive Rogier Van der Weyden masterpiece at a Burgundy Museum? To be allowed to view this Northern Renaissance gem, you must have a COVID pass. This is proof that you have had a negative test or have been vaccinated. These restrictions are in place across France, for everything from eating at restaurants to visiting the Eiffel tower.

France, which was struggling to increase its paltry vaccination rate in the summer, became the first major EU country to use such passes. In July, Macron announced mandatory vaccinations for all health workers.

It worked. The French public health services reported that in the eight weeks following the announcement, the overall vaccination rate increased from 40% to 69%.

It has also found other buyers in the bloc. It was Thursday that Italy raised the bar. The country, which has required the pass for many purposes, already had the option. Premier Mario Draghi's government stated that workers from both the private and public sectors will soon have to show proof of their ability to work. Similar measures have been taken in Greece and Slovenia, but Italy is the first major European country to require the COVID pass for access to all areas of work.

Vitalba Azzollini, an Italian legal expert, said that the health pass is not a push to get vaccinated.

People on both sides of the Atlantic sometimes feel the push more like an intruder.

There has been a lot of anger and demonstrations in the United States.

Candace Ganjavi, a Memorial Herman Healthcare nurse in Houston, Texas, said that everyone should be able to say no to certain things and not lose their entire life. She is offering advice to others on how to get an exemption from the vaccine mandate that her employer has placed.

Meanwhile, Republican governors in the U.S. strongly condemned Biden's mandate. They also pledged to take legal action. Governor of South Carolina Henry McMaster pledged to fight the president "to death'

Biden defended the mandates, saying that "my job as President is to protect all Americans."

Italy and France saw thousands of people take to the streets to protest the COVID passes . Some of these demonstrations led to clashes with Paris police. On Wednesday, hundreds of anti-vaccination protesters in Slovenia hurled flares at parliament to protest new COVID passes that are required for entry into almost all shops and private offices.

Friday's announcement by the government that it would increase the requirement for government employees was a double-down.

Since the announcement of the first vaccines, vaccination rates have increased dramatically.

Bojana Beovic (the chief of the Health Ministry’s advisory group on COVID-19) stated that "I would be happier if people understood why it is important to get vaccinated." "But the most important thing is that the percentage of the vaccinated is increasing."

Comments

Warning!

You have to login for comment. If you are not a member? Register now.

Login Sign Up