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Doubts, controversies, delays. Vaccination campaigns against Covid-19 in the Western Balkans have only started in Serbia and Albania, while the other countries in the area risk dangerous delays, despite some support initiatives promoted by the European Union
The COVID-19 crisis will lead to a sharp contraction of GDP in all EU member states. From billions for airlines to several hundred euros for small businesses, governments have been supporting their economy in different ways.
The EU’s vaccine distribution delays could be solved through voluntary collaborations established by pharmaceutical giants. However, civil society and several EU countries are calling for the liberalization of patents, to be able to independently produce doses and ensure vaccine coverage for the largest possible number of people. The second part of Stefano Valentino’s report on the monopolistic practices of pharmaceutical companies.
The prison population fell in almost all European countries last year. Many detainees were released to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and meanwhile the crime rate also declined. The largest drop in prison numbers was in Turkey. However, in certain countries the incarcerated population increased.
Over the last ten years, there were significantly fewer homicides in the EU. Suicide rates have also dropped. While the situation in certain northern countries is less rosy, there were considerably fewer violent deaths per 100,000 people in the South.
When it comes to job status and mental wellbeing, the young are the most affected by the pandemic among Europeans, reveals a recent report by Eurofound.
The clash between the EU and AstraZeneca over delayed vaccines has revealed a stack of questionable contracts signed with Big Pharma. Problems include manufacturers’ ambiguous delivery dates, but lawyers investigating the deals show that companies have a clear advantage over the EU.
Several global surveys suggest that after initial enthusiasm, vaccination uptake of coronavirus vaccines has fallen sharply. However, with the increased availability of vaccines this spring, people's appetite to take the Covid vaccine has returned, although Europeans’ willingness to take it is still below the level of other vaccines.
Mainly three things: the number of doctors and nurses and the population density of a region are more important indicators than the number of ICUs in predicting Covid-19 deaths, there does not appear to be a causal association between per-capita numbers of ICUs and deaths from Covid, and excess mortality showed a correlation with the "pandemic waves".
The various COVID-19 related lockdowns and closures of the EU’s borders have reduced mobility, particularly of migrants, making the job of the EU’s border and coast guard agency Frontex more difficult.