British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the UK needs to prepare for a ‘tidal wave’ of omicron cases. Concerns are growing across Europe, as a number of countries bring in measures to combat a rise in infections.
However, rules in Austria will be relaxed for the fully vaccinated, after the country imposed Europe’s first full lockdown this winter. But protests against the country’s plans for mandatory inoculations continued across the weekend. There were also demonstrations in the Czech Republic against compulsory jabs for the over sixties and public servants.
France’s first closures in months also came into force this weekend with nightclubs shuttered until at least January.
Meanwhile Russia has passed the milestone of ten million coronavirus cases. COVID passes are required across much of the country, but only 40 percent of people are currently fully vaccinated.
There was little Christmas cheer from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who warned of a tidal wave of omicron cases.
With the festive season in full swing, there are concerns across the continent that the COVID Christmas hangover could last well into 2022.
Germany is beginning the latest phase in its coronavirus vaccination campaign today. It’s for children between the ages of 5 and eleven. Parents who want to immunize their young kids can now do so – even though the official recommendation here is specifically for kids with serious pre-existing conditions to get the jab.
Some other countries have already been vaccinating kids under 12. The US started inoculating young children at the beginning of November. Israel has also been giving under-12s COVID-19 shots for nearly a month. In both countries, over 16 percent of young kids have received at least one dose.
The vaccine rollout comes after a sharp rise in overall infections in Germany. There’s a higher concentration of cases in the Eastern part of the country – including kids in this age group. Most don’t experience severe COVID-19 symptoms, but they can spread the virus to others.
DW reporters visited one German family, who say: for their children, the rollout can’t come soon enough!