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Place your trust in science, Commissioner Kyriakides urges citizens

24/11/2021 09:33

European Commissioner on Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides has urged citizens to place their trust in science.

In statements to CNA in Strasbourg, Kyriakides also announced that in the coming days the Commission will be presenting a new package of proposals regarding the COVID-19 digital certificate and the third vaccine dose.

Asked what the European Commission is doing to inform EU citizens on the facts about vaccines she replied that “from the outset we have based our information on science and science speaks for itself.”

Vaccines, she noted, “constitute the protective shield we have at our disposal against serious illness, hospitalization, or an ICU.” The numbers, she said, “speak for themselves,” adding that the “large majority of patients who are being treated in ICUs or in hospitals in all member states right now are people who have not been vaccinated.”

Kyriakides pointed out that it is “of the utmost importance, particularly at this stage with the new variant Delta which is more transmissible, to go ahead and vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.”

This, she noted, concerns all ages because unfortunately there is still a significant number of people in all member states who remain unvaccinated.

Invited to send a message to Cypriots who have yet to be vaccinated Kyriakides replied that she will tell them what she tells all people who have not yet been vaccinated in all countries: “Trust in science.”

“I know that significant misinformation exists through social networks,” she noted, adding that all Commission institutional bodies are acting to deal with this misinformation.

“What we must do is to persuade people through our own briefings to trust in science and protect themselves and others,” she added, pointing out that this is “of huge importance.”

Asked about the Commission’s intention to update the COVID-19 digital certificate, she said that “the digital certificate has been a great success of the European Commission.”

It has allowed for the member states’ societies and economies to open, she noted.

She added that the Commission is in talks with the ECDC and the EMA in order to go ahead with new recommendations which will help to have the necessary coordination between member states. “When member states are not all acting in the same manner this creates confusion among citizens and we want citizens to feel safe and to know how they can travel,” she noted. 

“I expect that we the recommendations will be ready within the coming days,” she added.

Asked who should receive the COVID-19 booster shot, the European Commissioner replied that the EMA’s recommendation is for people over 18 and particularly people who immunity systems are suppressed and people who are vulnerable.” It is a discussion the Commission is having with the EMA and the ECDC and I expect that this will be included in the package of recommendations which will launch in the coming days, she added.

At the same time, she expressed the view that the discussion over the booster shot should not replace the need for people who have not yet been vaccinated to do so. “I feel this is important,” she stressed.