The European Union is about to reach the target of 70% vaccinated population.
A success in most European countries but still with many differences. It goes from 19% in Bulgaria to 94.1% in Malta. An imbalance that threatens to divide Europe, because in many areas it will be difficult to move freely in the same way.
For example, all those immunized with vaccines not recognized by the European Medicines Agency (in Hungary they used 4 million Chinese and Russian vaccines) now have problems moving as they practically have no green pass.
And to further complicate the situation is the idea of carrying out a third dose, even against the contrary opinion of the WHO.
The objective of the World Health Organization, on the other hand, is to be able to convince all those who still do not want to get vaccinated both in Europe and in the United States.
Doctors keep repeating that “differences in vaccination rates are an important issue and no one will be safe until we all are.” There are still too many differences in immunization between countries.
In nine of the 27 European countries, 70% has already been exceeded, but the gap with the others is still too high to think of being sure of a herd immunization.
Similar differences are found in two other clusters, for the over 80s and nursing home staff.
The fear of the WHO is that at this stage, especially where there have been few vaccinations, new variants that aggravate the number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths may develop.
The danger is great especially outside Europe, where there are countries that do not yet have access to vaccines.
But even within the EU, in countries where vaccination rates are still too low.
Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, Croatia, Slovakia and Slovenia, for example, have vaccinated less than 50% of the adult population. As well as Finland, Estonia, Poland, Sweden, Lithuania and the Czech Republic. Greece and Hungary have strongly slowed the pace of vaccinations.
In Germany, too, the differences between landers are evident. In the western part, all Länder exceed 55%. In the territories of the former East Germany it drops to less than 50%.
According to the WHO, there are many causes for the disparity in speed in giving the vaccine. In some countries, purchase options have been delayed and some countries, such as Latvia, have bet on the cheapest vaccine (AstraZeneca), which has had severe supply delays.
Some experts indicate that public distrust of their own rulers was another factor that did not come close to vaccinations, as in Bulgaria or Romania. Another widespread reason that is slowing vaccinations is the disinformation campaign. In France, for example, the flu vaccination rate has declined for a decade and in 2019 it was already 25 percentage points below the threshold set by the WHO (75%).