Almost three years since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a public health emergency of international concern on 11 March 2020, the virus remains a global threat to health. Although the development of COVID-19 vaccines brought hope that the pandemic could be contained and eventually halted, 2021 has seen a combination of factors impede this progress. Erratic and hesitant public health measures, inadequate health system capacities, and highly unequal access to COVID-19 vaccines have enabled new variants of SARS-CoV-2 to surge, resulting in successive waves of infection in every region. COVID-19 continues to cause substantial loss of life around the world.
* Data valid for 15 EU member states (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom).