Portugal and Malta will be the safest places in Europe this winter, according to the expert leading disease monitoring across the continent.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Dr Bruno Ciancio, director of surveillance at the European Centre of Disease Control (ECDC), said most of western Europe will be hit with a new wave of coronavirus cases in the coming weeks and months, but Portugal and Malta are likely to avoid the “consistent waves of infection” because of higher vaccination rates.
Dr Ciancio said that we’re living a pandemic that will be driven more and more by those unvaccinated.
He said that “three distinct epidemiological trends” are emerging across Europe which will dictate how countries fare this winter.
While Malta and Portugal boast a high vaccination rate, most of the rest of western Europe, including the UK, fall into a second tier where overall vaccination rates are hovering at between 60 and 80 per cent.
“These countries have relatively good vaccination coverage, but not high enough to impact transmission… [and] there’s a large portion of the population still susceptible,” said Dr Ciancio.
“Couple that with the fact that the vaccine isn’t 100 per cent effective, and it means we’ll see consistent waves of infection.”