BRUSSELS • It is time for the European Union to “think about mandatory vaccination” against Covid-19, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said yesterday, while stressing that member state governments would decide.
“My personal position is... I think it is understandable and appropriate to lead this discussion now,” she said, underlining that a third of the EU population of 450 million was still unvaccinated.
Several EU countries have already taken steps in that direction.
Austria has said it will make coronavirus vaccinations compulsory from Feb 1 and Germany is considering following suit.
Greece on Tuesday said jabs would be mandatory for over-60s, while France has said Covid-19 passes would be deactivated for all adults who have not had booster shots six months after their last jab, starting Jan 15.
Ms von der Leyen also said that the EU’s main Covid-19 vaccine provider, Pfizer-BioNTech, would have jabs available for children in the bloc in two weeks’ time.
The renewed urgency to vaccinate comes on the back of the emergence of the Omicron variant.
While it could take weeks to prove how infectious and resistant to current vaccines the new variant is, many countries have rushed to ramp up inoculation programmes, seeing them as the best line of defence.
The number of countries where Omicron has been found has grown to at least 20, raising questions about whether the pandemic is about to surge once more.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the newspaper
Tourism voucher scheme had multiplier effect on sector: Experts
The success of the SingapoRediscovers Vouchers (SRV) scheme should be looked at beyond the redemption rate, and its wider effects on the industry should be examined, tourism experts said.
TOWNS HAILS RUSSELL, EDWARDS
Timberwolves centre shines late on but says his teammates can also carry the load
Taiwan reports new large-scale Chinese air force incursion
Island’s Defence Ministry scrambles fighters to warn away 39 aircraft in latest incident
Tearful farewell for twins found dead in canal
Nearly 30 family members and friends attend cremation service at Mandai
‘Absurd' war in Ukraine's separatist territory
Ruslan Chebotayev was just 10 years old when pro-Russian separatists seized his hometown in eastern Ukraine, sparking fighting that he and other teenagers say has robbed them of hope and prospects.
Taliban, Western diplomats hold talks in Oslo
Demand that Islamist group respects human rights before aid to Afghanistan can resume
New Outram Community Hospital officially opens
It is part of a $4b, 20-year revamp of buildings on the Singapore General Hospital campus
Rise in wages must be matched by enhanced skills and services
While waste management workers welcomed the news of increased pay under the new Progressive Wage Model (PWM) for the sector unveiled yesterday, employers and service providers acknowledge that it will drive up costs.
PM Lee to meet Jokowi for first Leaders' Retreat since 2019
They will review and discuss ways to boost bilateral tie-ups
New college to have fewer international students
It plans to cut proportion in each cohort by half, to 20 per cent
Keeping Covid Out of The Cabin
As the pandemic enters Year 3, airlines are stepping up their hygiene routines
Omicron Variant: How Worried Should We Be About It?
Research has started to emerge on the latest variant of COVID. How concerned should we be about it, and what makes it different from previous variants?
SHOPPING FOR A CAR THIS YEAR WILL NOT BE THE SAME
2021 was an unusual year for the automotive industry. While customer demand for new cars rebounded from the economic uncertainty of 2020, automakers found themselves unable to meet that demand because of semiconductor chip shortages and supply chain problems. So what should car shoppers expect for 2022? Much of the same, unfortunately.
2021 comenzó con optimismo: fue el año de la esperanza y las vacunas. Sin embargo, una serie de conflictos violentos, una nueva ola del virus y varios recordatorios letales de la crisis climática dejaron claro que sería un año en el que debíamos…
US JOBLESS CLAIMS RISE BY 7,000, BUT STILL LOW AT 207,000
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week but remained at historically low levels, suggesting that the job market remains strong.
the lost girls of covid
For 25 years, girls in developing countries have been on a remarkable trajectory of progress. The pandemic is reversing it
An Energy Crisis Years in the Making
With gas inventories low, Europe is at the mercy of two wily forces: Vladimir Putin and the weather
PROOF COVID IS CHINESE BIOWEAPON!
Harvard expert details Wuhan lab link to virus
Closing Schools to Protect Kids Made Them Sick
NOT LONG AGO, parents spent time and energy worrying about contagious diseases other than COVID-19: respiratory syncytial virus (RSV); hand, foot, and mouth disease; strep throat; and even the boring old flu. But the default standards for “safety” haphazardly narrowed and heightened as COVID-19 burst onto the scene. Lockdowns, school closures, and other restrictions substantially limited people’s access to each other.
The pandemic has had widely different effects on executives around the world. There are some strategies, however, that anyone can use to adapt to rapid changes