COVID-19 excess deaths in Eastern European countries associated with weaker regulation implementation and lower vaccination coverage

A. Ylli, G. Burazeri, Y.Y. Wu, T. Sentell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Since winter 2020, excess deaths due to COVID-19 have been higher in Eastern Europe than most of Western Europe, partly because regulatory enforcement was poor.Methods: This paper analysed data from 50 countries in the WHO European Region, in addition to data from USA and Canada. Excess mMortality and vaccination data were retrieved from "Our World In Data" and regulation implementation was assessed using standard methods. Multiple linear regression was used to assess the association between mortality and each covariate.Results: Excess mortality increased by 4.1 per 100 000 (P = 0.038) for every percentage decrease in vaccination rate and with 6/100 000 (p=0.011) for every decreased unit in the regulatory implementation score a country achieved in the Rule of Law Index. Conclusion: Degree of regulation enforcement, likely including public health measure enforcement, may be an important factor in controlling COVID-19's deleterious health impacts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-780
Number of pages5
JournalEastern Mediterranean Health Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • COVID-19
  • European Region
  • excess mortality
  • regulation enforcement
  • rule of law
  • vaccination coverage

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