EU health officials say COVID pandemic is not over

The exterior of the European Medicines Agency in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, December 18, 2020. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw/File Photo

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – An official at the European Union’s drug regulator said on Thursday the coronavirus pandemic was not over yet, contradicting US President Joe Biden, saying the region would be evacuated during the cold season. He said the planned vaccination campaign in the country was key. fight it.

Steffen Sarstrap, Chief Medical Officer of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), said: “We believe the pandemic is still ongoing in Europe and we are working to prevent further spread of the disease in Europe. It is important that we prepare for the deployment of vaccines, especially adaptive vaccines.” He told a media briefing, referring to vaccines that target specific strains of the virus.

He was asked to comment on Biden’s remarks that the “pandemic is over” in an interview aired on Sunday.

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“Clearly I can’t answer why President Biden came to that conclusion,” Thrstrap said.

The World Health Organization has said the pandemic remains a global emergency, but the end may be in sight if countries use the tools at their disposal.

During a media briefing, an EMA official said in an interview with Reuters Next Newsmaker last week that people in Europe have COVID-19 boosters available and there will be a few more. It reaffirmed the agency’s executive director Emmer Cook’s call that people should take whatever is recommended on the more

Apart from the original COVID vaccine, in recent weeks the EMA has approved a number of vaccines adapted to the Omicron variant of the virus to be used as booster shots to reduce the burden of Europe’s fall and winter surge in infections. Did.

Marco Cavalleri, EMA’s head of vaccine strategy, said the agency is also considering using adapted shots as the primary course of vaccination, and will discuss the types of data that could support such approval. He said there was a discussion.

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Reported by Ludwig Burger Edited by Madeline Chambers and Mark Potter

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