At a press conference WHO Europe head Hans Kluge said the continent could see half a million more deaths by February.
He blamed insufficient vaccine take-up for the rise.
“We must change our tactics, from reacting to surges of Covid-19 to preventing them from happening in the first place,” he said.
The rate of vaccination has slowed across the continent in recent months. While some 80% of people in Spain are double jabbed, in Germany it is as low as 66% – and far lower in some Eastern European countries. Only 32% of Russians were fully vaccinated by October 2021.