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Same goal, different paths: US, EU seek max vaccine rates

Officials in both the U.S. and the European Union are struggling with the same question. That is how to boost vaccination rates to the max and end a pandemic that has repeatedly thwarted efforts to control it.

9/19/2021 10:16:00 AM

Officials in both the U.S. and the Europe an Union are struggling with the same question. That is how to boost vaccination rates to the max and end a pandemic that has repeatedly thwarted efforts to control it.

BRUSSELS (AP) — The Belgian town of Aarschot has a vaccination rate of 94% of all adults, but Mayor Gwendolyn Rutten worries her town is too close for comfort to the capital of Brussels , where the rate stands at 63%.

Her hope is that the government mandates vaccination. “Otherwise, you drag all others back into danger,” Rutten said in a recent interview.But few European Union countries have issued outright mandates, instead requiring people to show proof of immunization, a negative test or recent recovery from COVID-19 to participate in ever more activities — even sometimes to go to work.

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More sweeping requirements are the order of the day in the U.S., which has faced significant vaccine resistance. President Bidenthat cover large portions of the population, sometimes without any option to test instead.ADVERTISEMENTDespite apparently divergent strategies, officials in both the U.S. and the EU are struggling with the same question: how to boost vaccination rates to the max and end a pandemic that has repeatedly thwarted efforts to control it.

And the apparent split may in fact be narrowing. While not calling their restrictions mandates, some European countries are making life so difficult for those without the vaccine that it may amount to the same thing.In a perhaps surprising move in a country known for touting individual freedoms, Biden has imposed sweeping vaccine requirements for as many as 100 million Americans, including many private-sector employees and health care workers. Employees at firms with more than 100 workers will need to get immunized or test weekly, while vaccination will be required for employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government — with no option to test out. There

are some exemptions.The seemingly more aggressive U.S. policy may reflect greater pressures there. The EU, which initially lagged way behind the United States in terms of vaccinations, surpassed it at the end of July. As of Thursday, the 27-nation bloc had 60% of its population vaccinated compared to 53% for the United States, according to Our World In Data. In the both places, immunization rates vary widely from country to country or state to state.

ADVERTISEMENTAmerican authorities from Biden on down have labeled the current phase a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” with data showing that nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.are now are in people who weren’t vaccinated. EU officials have used the same description for continuing outbreaks in their countries.

But it’s harder for the EU writ large to impose vaccine mandates since health policies are the responsibility of the 27 national governments, and top EU officials walk on egg shells addressing the issue. Asked specifically by The Associated Press whether mandatory vaccination could be part of the solution, three EU commissioners swerved around the question, though none argued against it.

“This is not within our remit. This is not part of our legal framework,” EU Vice President Margaritis Schinas said, before adding: “But if there is a message that we would like to repeat to member states and through member states to the European citizens, it is ‘vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate.’”

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Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton emphasized that supply wouldn’t be an issue, and the bloc would “be ready for everything which is needed.” That underscores that such debates can only play out in wealthy nations, while many lower-income countries remain unable to even offer all their citizens a first shot.

But while officials in Brussels can’t impose a mandate on the EU’s 450 million citizens, many national governments are ramping up restrictions for those who are not vaccinated. Some countries are, in fact, requiring vaccines for some groups: Slovenia, with no option to test out.

More common in the EU, however, is essentially requiring regular testing for those who aren’t vaccinated.Want to see “The Last Judgment” by Flemish Primitive Rogier van der Weyden at a Burgundy museum? You must show a so-called COVID pass — which provides proof of a negative test, a vaccination or recent recovery from COVID-19 — to be allowed to admire that Northern Renaissance gem. The restrictions apply across France for everything from entering restaurants to visiting the Eiffel Tower.

Struggling to boost its paltry vaccination rates in the early summer, France was the first major EU nation to start using such passes. Macron then announcedobligatory vaccinations for all health workersin July.It proved effective. In the eight weeks since the announcement, the French public health service said that the overall vaccination rate went from 40% fully vaccinated to 69%.

As a result, it has found other takers in the bloc. And on Thursday, Italy, which already required the pass for many activities, upped the ante. Premier Mario Draghi’s government said workers in both the public and private sectors will soon be forced to show one to go to work. Slovenia and Greece have adopted similar measures, but Italy is the first major European economy to require the COVID pass to access places of work across all sectors.

The health pass “is not a nudge to get vaccinated, it is a not-so-gentle push,″ Italian legal expert Vitalba Azzollini said.On both sides of the Atlantic, people have sometimes felt the push more like a shove.In the United States, there has been lots of angry rhetoric and scattered demonstrations.

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“Everyone should have a right to say ‘no’ to something, and not lose everything,” said Candace Ganjavi, a nurse at Memorial Herman Healthcare in Houston, Texas, who is helping others with advice on how to obtain an exemption from the vaccine mandate her employer has imposed.

Meanwhile, Republican governors across the U.S. have loudly condemned Biden’s mandate and vowed to take legal action. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster vowed to fight the president “to the gates of hell.”Biden has defended the mandates by saying “my job as president is to protect all Americans.”

Italy and Francehave seen thousands take to the streets in protests of the COVID passes, some of which resulted in clashes with police in Paris. In Slovenia, hundreds of anti-vaccination protesters hurled flares at the parliament building on Wednesday to protest new measures that require a COVID pass for entering almost any shop as well as restaurants and private workplaces.

The government doubled down, announcing Friday it would expand the requirement to government employees.Vaccination rates have soared since the first measures were announced.“I would be more pleased if people understood why they have to get vaccinated,” said Bojana Beović, the chief of the Health Ministry’s advisory group on COVID-19. “But the main thing is that the share of the vaccinated population is increasing.”

___Associated Press writers Christina Larson in Washington, Josh Hoffner in Phoenix, Angela Charlton in Paris, Colleen Barry in Milan, Dusan Stojanovic in Belgrade, Serbia, and AP reporters from across the EU contributed to this report. Read more: The Associated Press »

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So they’ve finally proven vaccines make you immune? Otherwise how would vaccination rates end the pandemic? Make a rule saying if you’re unvaccinated and you get sick and cannot take up a hospital bed. Deal with it at home since you’re so sure you don’t need the vaccine 🤡 Vaccines and lockdowns won’t stop it. It’s a new flu. It’s not going away. Deal with it

Very similar to the flu! A lot of people never get a flu shot either. Lolz they fought nature and are surprised it's winning. You should feel guilty. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Sickness exists and you didn't stop it. /sarcasm AMERICA WANTS TO KNOW . WOKE MEDIA REFUSES TO REPORT . HOW THE MASS EXODUS OF DIRT POOR HAITIANS CROSSED AN OCEAN . CROSSED MEXICO TO GET TO TEXAS ! . MAYBE A REPORTER COULD ASK ONE! CNN CNN MSNBC MSNBC FoxNews EXPN CBSNews NBCNEWS CSPAN SNL MTV FBI CIA NSA

Sure read it easily...think about it for years though Call it 'monocolonal' treatment, people refusing vax mostly can't spell anyways Maybe they'll figure out the connection between more opening up and more cases. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Boosting vaccinations won't end the pandemic. The vaccines don't provide immunity and does not prevent the spread. Plus there are already new variants that will start the process all over again.

Everyone who's already had COVID has natural immunity. Forgot to mention that.

These vaccine mandates are already in place to attend school in the USThis school district is the largest in the country to mandate a coronavirus shot - which joins a list of other vaccines already required to attend school that protect against highly contagious diseases. Just passing along some beautiful jewelry I think you may be interested in! Please enjoy this thread: ⬇️ You will allow yourself to be injected... Or else

what’s happening in breakthrough infections of vaccinated people prove Covid-19 Pandemic is biological warfare & this virus is bioweapon virus which mean virus always change its characteristics & vaccines which was built on original version of virus may not cover new variants now 1) Offer free injections of cultured Covid virus billed as 'Freedom Shots'. 2) Wait. 3) Celebrate.

Stop trying to do the impossible… stop ruining people lives for your agenda…. I bet if you stop, the virus 🦠 will miraculously go away The pandemic doesn't end since those vaccinated still can get sick and can infect other people. And that's why you don't see herd immunity anywhere. the answer was, is, and will always be vaccine mandates, or, you know, years of massive outbreaks, either or

HOW, they don't stop infection or spread So sick of this sh*t We must finally force the proverbial horse already at the trough to now drink. Haven't we had a bellyful of ignorance and denial? Let's move people forward, even if they don't want to go. Let's save lives in spite of those who seem to want to die. Let's make progress.

Had flu ever ended? We just need to live with it. Ask Fauci...Fauci can fix it!!! Too many fakenews have helped it to thwart the efforts by the governments.

How COVID-19 hybrid immunity could be a potential pandemic game-changerSome researchers are pointing to preliminary data suggesting that mixing different COVID-19 vaccines could offer an even stronger immune boost. Could / Might / Maybe Etc. The World Is Fed Up Of Hearing / Seeing This!🙄🤦🏽‍♂️😷 We Need Facts / It Works / Here Are The Results / 20 Years From Now This Is What Will Happen! If Vaccines Hurt People, There Will Be Compensation / Accountability. ha ha ha! let’s mix them and see what happens….

Seat belts are mandatory. What’s the difference?

Many faith leaders say no to endorsing vaccine exemptionsAs significant numbers of Americans seek religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccine mandates, many faith leaders are saying: Not with our endorsement. Trumpaterians ? Religious reasons!? What? Any Fükwit, just has to say “it’s against my religious beliefs” Or do they have to quote the appropriate verse from their Bible, to make it so? Dream on ppl. Covid Card or you don't get in. Who knew the Mark of the Beast would turn out to be a vaccine? Anyways... Try not to take the bible literally. Get vaxxed. It isnt a conspiracy.

U.S. to buy millions of Pfizer vaccine doses to donate to world -Washington PostThe United States plans to buy hundreds of millions of additional doses of the Pfizer Inc COVID-19 vaccine to donate around the world, The Washington Post reported on Friday, citing two unidentified people familiar with the deal. Can we donate them with out buying them? That whole idea sounds odd? “Hey let me buy that from you so I can give it away for free?” weird vaccine 9NEWS Sounds good! Follow the was all about the money 💰

U.S. FDA vaccine advisors debate boosters as Biden administration plans rolloutDebate over whether Americans should receive a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as planned by the Biden administration moved to a panel of independent expert advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday. Strong buy novavax NVAX Novavax Reddit wsbmod RobinhoodApp JoeBiden BarackObama Reddit wallstreetbets wsbmod Cristiano Biden isn’t following the science, he’s following the money

U.S. administers about 384.9 mln doses of COVID-19 vaccines -CDCThe United States has administered 384,911,290 doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Saturday morning and distributed 466,569,635 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.