by Will Jones
Vaccine Passports, Mask Mandates
Binding" Global 'pandemic' Treaty
The European Union has set out its
commitment to the continued use of lockdowns, mask mandates,
vaccine passports and other restrictions this winter to
control the 'spread' of
COVID-19, and also to the creation
of a "legally binding" global 'pandemic' treaty with a "reinforced
WHO at its centre".
The document, published on September 2nd and titled "EU
response to COVID-19 - Preparing for autumn and winter 2023",
was prepared by the EU Commission (the EU executive) and sent to the
It reveals how much in
thrall to the new biosecurity orthodoxy the EU leadership is
and bodes ill for the future management of contagious disease
in the bloc and 'globally'...
lockdowns and other
restrictions, it proposes a framework of,
"key indicators to
assess when deciding on reintroducing non-pharmaceutical
These indicators include
severe disease and hospital occupancy data, and importantly are
stated to relate not just to COVID-19 but to influenza as well,
making this potentially part of normal winter disease management,
mask mandates as a "first option to
limit community transmission", giving a preference for FFP2 masks.
[Face mask] use in
closed public spaces, including public transport, can be a first
option to limit community transmission.
Recent evidence shows
that FFP2 face masks, which are readily available in the EU/EEA,
have a stronger protective effect than medical masks or
cloth masks in the community.
Member States are
therefore strongly encouraged to consider their use in specific
The document recommends
the pre-emptive imposition of work-from-home and gathering limits
before any rise in infections to try to avoid the,
"need for more
disruptive ones such as lock downs, closing businesses and
schools, stay-at-home recommendations and travel restrictions".
It stresses the need for
"political commitment" to make lockdowns and other measures work.
Other measures such
as working from home or limiting the size of mass gatherings
have proved effective to limit transmission of the virus.
ahead of increases in cases, these measures can avoid the need
for more disruptive ones such as lock downs, closing businesses
and schools, stay-at-home recommendations and travel
and community engagement are key for the success and the
effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical measures.
The one welcome aspect of
the document was the clear statement to avoid disrupting children's
education and lives any further, though even here school closures
were not ruled out.
'pandemic' has disrupted the lives of children and adolescents
affecting their everyday routines, education, health,
development and overall well-being.
It is therefore
important to keep in mind the negative impacts of school
disruptions on the health and development of children.
The implementation of
measures at schools should be aimed to be kept at a minimum and
the further loss of learning should be prevented.
The document discourages
travel restrictions - freedom of travel and the elimination of
internal borders being an article of faith for the EU.
However, it recommends
use of the
EU Digital Covid Certificate
(i.e., vaccine passport, though it also recognizes natural immunity)
wherever travel restrictions are "necessary", boasting about how
widely it is already used.
Member States can
make use of the EU Digital Covid Certificate in case the
epidemiological situation this autumn and winter makes it
necessary for countries to temporarily reintroduce travel
The EU Digital Covid
Certificate Regulation, which has been extended until June 2023,
provides the necessary framework to manage the impact of
restrictions on free movement and to facilitate travel.
It ensures that
citizens can benefit from interoperable and mutually accepted
certificates of COVID-19 vaccination, test and recovery.
In principle, holders
of valid EU Digital Covid Certificates should not be subject to
any additional restrictions when travelling within the EU.
EU Digital Covid Certificate
has been a major success in providing the public with a tool
that is accepted and trusted across the EU (and in several third
countries) and in avoiding fragmentation of multiple national
As of August 1st
2022, 75 countries and territories from across five continents
are connected to the EU Digital Certificate system (30 EU/EEA
Member States and 45 non-EU countries and territories), and
several more countries have expressed interest in joining the
gateway or are already engaged in technical discussions with the
This makes the EU
Digital Covid Certificate a 'global standard'...
The EU Digital COVID
Certificate system is sufficiently flexible to adapt to the
evolution of the COVID-19 response.
to the validity period of certificates issued for the first
booster may become necessary in light of further scientific
evidence and the evolution of the 'pandemic'.
What this fails to
mention, of course, is any rationale for the passes.
What's the point of
restricting the travel of the unvaccinated (or
not-sufficiently-vaccinated) when the vaccinated are no less
likely to spread the disease...?
This key question is
On vaccination, the document provides 15 "objectives", "priorities"
and "actions" for COVID-19 vaccination strategies.
These include the
"priority" of encouraging take-up of the original vaccine (that's
right, for the extinct Covid strains) among all eligible children
and adolescents, and an action point of making sure GPs are spending
enough of their time vaccinating people (don't they have anything
else to do?).
It suggests administering
boosters as often as every three months, implying they are little
use after six months.
It also encourages
governments to counter "misinformation" in the media and online to
ensure "clear, consistent and evidence-based messaging demonstrating
the continued safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines".
It links worries about
vaccine safety with "anti-Western and anti-EU narratives" and with
websites which also go off-narrative on
the Ukraine war.
The vaccine action points
COVID-19 vaccination strategies using the currently
available vaccines to reduce hospitalizations, severe
disease and death.
coverage gaps. Improving vaccine uptake of the primary
vaccination course and first booster dose among eligible
individuals, including eligible children and adolescents
according to national vaccination schedules, remains a
priority. This is of particular importance for population
groups at higher risk of severe outcomes and for countries
with lower vaccination rates.
sufficient vaccination capacities, either by reactivating
vaccination centres or by using other resources, such as
administration of an additional booster dose (second or
subsequent) for specific population groups: people aged 60
years and over and individuals of any age at risk of severe
disease (e.g. individuals with underlying comorbidities,
immunocompromised individuals and pregnant women). The
boosting of healthcare workers and long-term care facility
personnel should also be considered. Subsequent boosters
could be administered as early as three months after the
previous one, and priority should be given to people who
received their last booster more than six months ago.
the effectiveness and safety of the [new and] adapted
vaccines once widespread rollout commences. If needed,
national vaccination strategies should be adapted when more
evidence on the performance of these vaccines becomes
Implement and, if
possible, coordinate effective communication initiatives and
strategies to promote uptake of additional vaccine doses,
and promote completion of the primary series by those who
have not yet done so. Clear information should be provided
around the rationale for recommendations, and the benefits
of the primary course and boosters for different population
groups, including for those who already had the disease.
capacity is in place to regularly update public
communication strategy, based on epidemiological
developments, changes in the public's perceptions and
attitudes of the ongoing 'pandemic' and COVID-19
vaccination, including the capacity to monitor and swiftly
respond to false or misleading information.
confidence by monitoring and addressing the public's
questions and concerns, explaining the science behind the
recommendations and debunking mis- and disinformation in
the mainstream media and on
consistent, and evidence-based messaging demonstrating the
continued safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines is
key. Target hard-to-reach population groups through tailored
communication and draw on health professionals and community
leaders as trusted sources of information.
political dimension of vaccine hesitancy and disinformation
campaigns linked to anti-Western and anti-EU narratives.
Particular challenges include channels where disinformation
is circulating in relation to other crises, especially the
Russian military aggression against Ukraine.
The document emphatically
reinforces the EU's commitment to a new "legally binding" 'pandemic'
treaty with a "reinforced
WHO at its centre" and commits over
half a billion Euros (equivalently, dollars and pounds) to making it
Lastly, the EU
believes it is vitally important to build on the lessons learned
from the COVID-19 'pandemic' and to strengthen the global health
architecture - with a reinforced WHO at its centre.
The EU is determined
to be a driving force in the negotiations on a new, legally
binding, international agreement on 'pandemic' prevention,
preparedness and response and on targeted amendments to
strengthen the International Health Regulations 2005.
processes are a priority for the EU and provide a historic
opportunity to find multilateral solutions to common challenges,
based on the principles of collective solidarity, equity,
fairness, inclusiveness and enhanced transparency.
Moreover, the new
Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) for Pandemic
Prevention, Preparedness and Response, to which Team Europe
has already pledged at least €588 million, will provide funding
to support 'pandemic' prevention, preparedness and response,
including the implementation of the amended International Health
Regulations and the new international agreement on 'pandemic'
prevention, preparedness and response.
The document also trails
a forthcoming "EU global health strategy" which,
"will provide the
political framework with priorities, governance and tools,
enabling the EU to speak with one influential voice and making
the most of Team Europe's capacity to protect and promote health
This is a very
For those of us who still
hold to the evidence-based 'pandemic' strategies of pre-2020,
premised only on
mitigating impacts by expanding emergency healthcare capacity
and finding safe and effective treatments, and not imposing
intrusive, harmful and unproven methods of trying to prevent the
spread of a disease that is anyway harmless to most
...this bodes ill indeed
for the current direction of travel in Europe and globally.