The European Medicines Agency (EMA) says inspite falling COVID-19 cases in Europe, the pandemic is not over yet and countries should prepare for a new wave.
According to Marco Cavaleri Head of Health Threats and Vaccines Strategy of the EMA, data has shown that over the last weeks there has been a decrease in the overall number of cases and deaths caused by COVID-19 in Europe.
However, as autumn approaches, we need to prepare for a new wave of infections, he said at a press conference.
He added that the same scenario occurred over the past two years, with a new wave coming up in autumn and that this trend is likely to return this year.
Cavaleri also emphasised the importance of looking out for new variants of the coronavirus: “The Omicron BA.5 variant is still the dominant variant circulating in Europe.
“We still have to be alert on other variants for instance, the BA.4.6 is quickly spreading in the United States and has already been detected in Europe. Also, the BA.2.75 variant is of concern.”
EMA Chief Medical Officer, Steffen Thirstrup, added: “What is clear to me and what should be very clear from Dr. Cavaleri’s presentation is that we in Europe still consider the pandemic as ongoing.”
The EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) has recommended the authorisation of adapted vaccines targeting the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 in addition to the original strain of COVID-19.