The European Commission (EC) announced today that it is willing to issue an authorization of vaccines against covid-19 only “two days” after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gives its approval, but this “gift of Christmas “will not prevent the holidays this year from being with a mask and social distance.
The EMA advanced today to December 21 the meeting of its Committee for Human Medicines (CHMP) to evaluate the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, originally scheduled for the 29th. Therefore, “if all goes well”, the head of Promotion of the European Lifestyle, Margaritis Schinas. The Commission could authorize its commercialization on the 23rd.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged Europeans to wear masks during family gatherings at Christmas and to maintain physical distancing, as the gatherings are held outdoors. And if they are held indoors, the groups are limited and it is well ventilated.
Germany returns to harsh confinement
For their part, European countries are considering stricter measures during Christmas to prevent a relapse into the pandemic. Germany recorded nearly a thousand deaths from COVID in the last 24 hours. Now he is back in general confinement, with essential shops and schools closed.
The European country that during the first wave appeared as a model in its health and economic response to the coronavirus, has been unable for weeks to flatten the contagion curve despite growing restrictions, in part due to the difficulties of the central and regional governments to agree on measures.
This Wednesday it reached 27,728 new cases according to the Robert Koch Institute, which places the absolute figures at 1,379,238 infected and 23,427 deaths. Last Friday, a record of infections was set, 29,875.
Spain and Italy reconsider their ‘flexibility’
Although the situation in Italy and Spain is still under control, the governments are discussing tightening measures to stop infections during the holidays.
A study has found that one in ten citizens in Spain would have passed the coronavirus by mid-November, with a prevalence of 18% in the Madrid region.
At a press conference, the Spanish Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, emphasized a rise in the number of infections that occurs before the Christmas holidays and that is why “measures must be taken in all communities where the incidence has increased “.
On holidays, Spaniards will be able to move from their region to visit relatives or friends, despite the fact that between December 23 and January 6 the country will be closed perimeter to avoid displacements of another type.
UK continues with its “Christmas bubble” despite alarms
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on Wednesday that he will maintain his plan to ease restrictions against the pandemic at Christmas, despite the increase in infections, and appealed to the “personal responsibility” of citizens to minimize risks.
“A smaller Christmas is going to be a safer Christmas and a shorter Christmas is also a safer Christmas, when we say that three households can meet in 5 days I want to emphasize that these are the maximums, not targets to which aim and, of course, it’s always going to be safer to minimize the number of people who gather, “Johnson said in a televised speech.
According to the latest official figures, in the United Kingdom as a whole there were 137,876 covid-19 infections in the last seven days, an increase of 28.7% compared to the previous seven days.
The decision to continue with the relaxation of the restrictions came despite the fact that the scientific journal British Medical Journal (BMJ) warned on Tuesday in its editorial that softening measures against the pandemic could “cost many lives.”
The vaccine could arrive in France at the end of December
French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that he will start the coronavirus vaccination operations “in the last week of December”, if “all conditions” are met.
But Prime Minister Jean Castex, who made the announcement before the National Assembly, warned: “the arrival of the vaccine will mark a turning point in the fight against covid”, but “the start of the vaccination campaign will not be the end of the epidemic “and that is why” it will continue to be essential “to continue with containment policies and restrictions.
France yesterday went from a situation of national confinement to a night curfew between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., which will remain until January 20 except for December 24, Christmas Eve, to allow family gatherings in groups limited to six Adults. On December 31, however, the night curfew will be maintained.