The COVID-19 pandemic could cost an extra 300,000 lives in Europe, according to a study of the number of people in 19 countries who have been neither infected nor vaccinated.
The study’s models also predict that the pandemic could lead to roughly one million hospitalizations in Europe, some of which would contribute to the projected death toll. But the authors of the analysis point out that their estimates are maximum numbers, which assume that all anti-infection restrictions are lifted and contacts between individuals have returned to their pre-pandemic levels. The analysis was posted as a preprint on the medRxiv server and has not yet been peer reviewed.
Number of COVID-19 Omicron variant cases in Europe as of November 29, 2021, by country
In late-November 2021, the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus which causes COVID-19) was designated as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization due to fears about a higher transmissibility from the variant and a possible decrease in the effectiveness of vaccines against it.