world
Tuesday Dec 07 2021
By
Reuters

Vaccine mandates 'absolute last resort', WHO Europe head says

By
Reuters
World Health Organisations Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge speaks during a news conference about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Eigtveds Pakhus, in Copenhagen, Denmark March 27, 2020. — Reuters/File
World Health Organisation's Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge speaks during a news conference about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Eigtveds Pakhus, in Copenhagen, Denmark March 27, 2020. — Reuters/File

  • Several European states are debating whether to make vaccines mandatory.
  • "The effectiveness of mandates is very context-specific," WHO Europe head says.
  • Indonesia, Micronesia, Turkmenistan have made vaccinations mandatory for all adults.


COPENHAGEN: Mandatory vaccinations against the coronavirus are an "absolute last resort", the World Health Organisation's top Europe official said on Tuesday.

More and more countries in Europe, including Germany, are debating whether to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory after Austria announced in November it would make inoculations compulsory as of February 1 next year, prompting large protests.

"Mandates around vaccination are an absolute last resort and only applicable when all feasible options to improve vaccination uptake have been exhausted," WHO Europe director Hans Kluge told reporters.

"The effectiveness of mandates is very context-specific," Kluge said, adding that public confidence and trust in authorities needed to be considered.

"What is acceptable in one society and community may not be effective and acceptable in another."

Indonesia, Micronesia, and Turkmenistan have also made vaccinations against the coronavirus mandatory for all adults.