Limited vax supply key issue for many EU nations

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Countries have employed innovative technologies throughout the pandemic to support the implementation of public health and social measures…reports Asian Lite News.

Despite steady progress in the coronavirus vaccine distribution across the European Union, many member states still report limited drug supply as the main issue in their efforts to battle the pandemic, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) told Sputnik.

According to the agency, the overall numbers of distributed and administered vaccines have been stable over the past weeks and the progress in the vaccination rollout has been steady across the EU. As much as 27 million doses were administered last week, while another 32 million doses were delivered to the EU countries in the same time period, the ECDC noted.

As of June 20, almost 58% of the EU population have received at least one vaccine dose and 35% have been fully immunized, the agency stated.

“Nevertheless, quite a few countries still reported that limited vaccine supply remains the main issue they are facing,” the ECDC said, adding that some EU members had had to adjust priority groups or altogether suspend their vaccination programs due to the shortages.

At the same time, more countries have reported that they are no longer facing this issue, as compared to the previous months, the agency said.

Meanwhile, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have developed a tool to evaluate the public health effectiveness of contact tracing solutions, according to a statement.

The tool, described as an indicator framework, will provide countries with a standardised approach for evaluating their use of digital proximity tracing solutions, Xinhua news agency quoted the ECDC statement issued on Monday as saying.

It will also assess the extent to which these solutions have aided national contact tracing strategies for Covid-19, the statement noted.

Countries have employed innovative technologies throughout the pandemic to support the implementation of public health and social measures.

Digital proximity tracing, by using smartphones or other devices to capture anonymised interactions between individuals and which would then issue alerts, emerged as a new means of support for contact tracing programs.

“This new indicator framework offers countries a standardized approach to gather the evidence and assess the contribution that digital proximity tracing technology has made to large-scale contact tracing efforts for Covid-19,” said Natasha Azzopardi-Muscat, director of the Division of Country Health Policies and Systems at WHO/Europe.

“We anticipate that it will become an invaluable tool,” she added.

Vicky Lefevre, head of the ECDC Public Health Functions Unit, said that digital proximity tracing technology is a new tool for a new challenge.

It is vital to evaluate its public health effectiveness in order to understand how best to use this technology right now as well as for future pandemics, Lefevre concluded. (ANI/Sputnik/IANS)

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