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Vaccine mandates should be ‘absolute last resort,’ WHO official says

Vaccine mandates should be considered as an “absolute last resort,” the World Health Organization’s top Europe official said Tuesday — a day after Big Apple Mayor Bill de Blasio announced tough new rules for all private businesses.

WHO Europe director Hans Kluge cautioned that officials should weigh whether mandates will impact public trust before imposing them.

“Mandates around vaccination are an absolute last resort and only applicable when all feasible options to improve vaccination uptake have been exhausted,” Kluge told reporters at a press conference.

Kluge added that officials should keep in mind that “the effectiveness of mandates is very context-specific.”

“What is acceptable in one society and community may not be effective and acceptable in another,” he said.

The WHO director stressed the importance of weighing up mandates against potential mental health ramifications.

World Health Organization (WHO) European director Hans Kluge slammed vaccine mandates saying they are “a last resort.”
IDA GULDBAEK ARENTSEN/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images
A group of demonstrators gathered at Times Square in Manhattan to protest the Covid-19 vaccine mandates in New York City.
A group of demonstrators gathered at Times Square in Manhattan to protest the COVID vaccine mandates in New York City.
Steve Sanchez/Pacific Press via ZUMA Press Wire

“Any measure that may restrict a right or movement of a person such as lockdowns or mandates needs to assure that mental health and well-being is cared for,” he said.

Kluge also said that there also needs to be help in place for domestic violence victims as well as economic support for those who will be impacted by the restrictions.

“That dialogue with the communities needs to remain the cornerstone of the response,” he said.

New York faces brand new COVID-19 mandates forcing all private businesses to have vaccinated employees in an attempt to get ahead of the new Omicron Variant.
New York faces brand new COVID-19 mandates forcing all private businesses to have vaccinated employees in an attempt to get ahead of the new Omicron Variant.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
New Yorker citizens and officials reacted in protest to the new mandates, saying that they felt blindsided by the move.
New Yorker citizens and officials reacted in protest to the new mandates, saying that they felt blindsided by the move.
EPA/JUSTIN LANE

Several European countries, such as Germany, are weighing whether to make vaccinations mandatory for adults.

Austria has announced that it will require all adults get vaccinated by Feb, 1.

Meanwhile, Mayor de Blasio sprang a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on all private businesses in New York City on Monday, in what he described as a “first-in-the-nation measure” to get ahead of the Omicron variant.

WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Henri P Kluge (left) and Queen Mathilde of Belgium (right) attend the presentation of the "The Pan-European Mental Health Coalition."
WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Henri P Kluge (left) and Queen Mathilde of Belgium (right) attend the presentation of the “The Pan-European Mental Health Coalition.”
BELGA/AFP via Getty Images

The announcement prompted swift rebuke from trade groups, New York office workers and some fellow elected officials who said the backbone of the Big Apple was “blindsided” by the stunning move.

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