(CMR) The World Health Organization warned Monday that another 236,000 people could die from COVID in Europe by December due to the rising infections and stagnating vaccine rate on the continent.
“Last week, there was an 11 percent increase in the number of deaths in the region—one reliable projection is expecting 236,000 deaths in Europe, by December 1,” WHO Europe director Hans Kluge said Monday.
Europe has registered around 1.3 million COVID deaths to date. Most countries, especially poorer countries, have had an upsurge in deaths in recent weeks.
Kluge said the Delta variant was partly to blame, along with an “exaggerated easing” of restrictions and measures and a surge in summer travel.
The WHO said that while around half of people in the WHO's Europe region are fully vaccinated, uptake in the region has slowed.
“In the past six weeks, it has fallen by 14 percent, influenced by a lack of access to vaccines in some countries and a lack of vaccine acceptance in others,” Kluge said.
Only six percent of people in lower and lower-middle-income countries in Europe are fully vaccinated, and some countries have only managed to vaccinate one in 10 health professionals.
“The stagnation in vaccine uptake in our region is of serious concern,” Kluge said, urging countries to “increase production, share doses, and improve access.”