COVID-19 Vaccinations Begin in Greece - Greek President, PM Vaccinated


Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis receives the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine, at "Evangelismos" hospital in Athens, Greece, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Tatiana Bollari)

ATHENS - Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse Efstathia Kambissiouli, who works at the capital's Evangelismos Hospital was to get the first COVID-19 vaccination shot in Greece Dec. 27, followed by a nursing home resident, Michalis Giovanidis.

President of Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou was vaccinated against COVID-19 at 14:00 on Sunday at Evangelismos hospital in Athens. Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias received the president at the hospital.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis arrived at Attiko hospital a few while after 14:00 in order to be vaccinated. The general secretary of Primary Healthcare of the Health Ministry Marios Themistokleous and Professor Sotiris Tsiodras welcomed Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the hospital.


Eustathia Kampisiouli is vaccinated by a Doctor in Athens, Greece, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020. (Photo by Eurokinssi)

Today is a very important day for science, a great day for EU which delivered the vaccine to all the EU member states the same day making action the message of the European solidarity� Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said after his vaccination at Attiko hospital on Sunday.

"I believe that today all the Greeks are smiling behind our masks as the difficult project of the mass vaccination begins in our country against COVID-19".

Mitsotakis also said that the government's aim is to "vaccinate the majority of the Greeks in the next months".

The prime minister explained that the vaccine is the only way to be able to finally finish with the COVID-19 adventure.


President of Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou s inoculated with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by Doctor in "Evangelismos" Hospital. (Photo by Eurokinissi)

"This Christmas, science offered us the best gift" said President of Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou after her vaccination against COVID-19 at Evangelismos hospital on Sunday.

"Next to the agony there is a smile of optimism and that's why it is very important to be vaccinated of course in the plan to be implemented according to the doctors' instructions" she said adding that with the vaccination we will be able "to exit from this adventure and take back our lives, meet again and hold in our arms our relatives and friends".

Sakellaropoulou was the first politician that got the vaccine shot.

SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras will be vaccinated against COVID-19 on Monday at 11:30 at Evangelismos hospital.

Greece had been expecting millions of doses, then that was cut to 300,000 for a first batch and the only 9,750 as a starter, most slated to go to frontline healthcare workers as well as the most vulnerable.

That includes people in nursing homes as well as the elderly, those with underlying or multiple conditions or at risk, but some shots will also go to politicians who said they want to show a skeptical public it's safe and works.

The National Herald

Michalis Giovanidis, a nursing home resident, receives an injection with a dose of COVID-19 vaccine, in Athens, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis, Pool)

It wasn't said if other lesser-ranking politicians would be able to cut the line and get shots ahead of people who are most likely to get or spread the Coronavirus and as polls showed less than half of Greeks want them anyway.

Greece's vaccines come from the combo team of US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and small German lab BioNTech and must be kept at temperatures of -162 degree Fahrenheit during the shipment chain, with two shots required some several weeks apart.

The New Democracy government, in tandem with the inoculations starting, will also launch a campaign to persuade people not to be afraid of potential side effects that are far less severe than what COVID-19 brings those infected.