Roundup: More EU countries consider 2nd booster jab amid COVID-19 surge-Xinhua

Roundup: More EU countries consider 2nd booster jab amid COVID-19 surge

Source: Xinhua| 2022-07-20 04:59:15|Editor: huaxia

LJUBLJANA, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Slovenia has authorized the second COVID-19 vaccination booster shot to all adults after the number of new daily infections reached the highest level since spring, the National Institute of Public Health said Tuesday.

The country reported 2,764 new infections on Monday, the highest level since April 4.

"The second booster shot is mainly recommended for people with a higher risk of a more difficult course of COVID-19 ... but can be given to anyone aged 18 or above," the institute said on its website.

It said there must be at least three months between the two booster shots.

So far 58 percent of Slovenians, or 2.1 million people, have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Slovenia abolished all measures against COVID-19 at the end of May after the number of daily cases had started to go down from the all time high of 24,258 cases reported on Feb. 1.

For the time being, the government is not planning to introduce any new restrictive measures but recommends vaccination.

Health authorities in Lithuania also announced on Tuesday that the second booster jab will be available as of August 1 to people who are at increased risk for severe disease. People over the age of 60 years and those suffering from chronic diseases, regardless of age, will be offered the second booster dose if their health condition increases the likelihood of serious illness after consultation with their family doctor.

Finland and Denmark have also recommended a 4th vaccine dose amid surging COVID-19 infections.

In the past week, close to 3 million new COVID-19 cases were reported in the European region, accounting for nearly half of all new cases globally, the World Health Organization said in a press release Tuesday.

Romanian Health Minister Alexandru Rafila said the health system must be prepared for a sixth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic by autumn.

"We must be prepared to respond to the challenges of this sixth wave, generated by more transmissible variants," he said at a public debate Tuesday.

Romania reported 7,658 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, as against 4,370 from the previous day. This is the highest number in the eastern European country since March 9, when the authorities halted all previous pandemic prevention and control measures.

"We estimate further growth, probably in mid-August, and this must be met with a well-prepared health system and outpatient sections that are able to handle patients with mild or moderate symptoms," Rafila said.

He called on people with COVID-specific symptoms to get tested for possible infection.

At present, people must cover their nose and mouth when entering health units or visiting family doctors. The minister also advised people to wear masks in all closed and crowded places and on public transport.

"Obviously, if the situation poses a risk to the health system...the Romanian government is entitled to take any measures it deems necessary under the circumstances," he said.

Romania has so far reported 2,974,880 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 65,824 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic first hit the country in early 2020.