WHO Europe says COVID vaccine mandates should be ‘last resort’

The World Health Organization (WHO) in Europe cautions against making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory.

Europe is battling a fierce surge of the pandemic, with the WHO registering 120,000 COVID-related deaths on the continent since November 23 when it warned of up to 500,000 more deaths by March 2022.

Regional director Hans Kluge says compulsory vaccines should be “an absolute last resort and only applicable when all other feasible options to improve vaccination uptake have been exhausted.”

Noting that mandates have increased vaccine uptake in some cases, Kluge says these were “context specific,” and adds that the effect mandates may have on “public confidence and public trust” must also be considered.

World Health Organization Director for Europe Hans Kluge arrives for a press conference in Rome, Italy, February 26, 2020. (Gregorio Borgia/AP)

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