Greek Delivery Worker Charged with Stealing COVID-19 Vaccines


(File photo: Eurokinissi/Yiannis Panagopoulos)

ATHENS - Greek police arrested a delivery worker on charges of stealing a vial holding 4-6 doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine from a vaccination center where he went to bring coffee.

The suspect was not named but Kathimerini said the incident occurred in the northern suburb of Agia Paraskevi and the arrest came after a report was filed by police, apparently after the vial was noticed to have been taken.

It wasn’t said why the worker allegedly took the vial or was able to get it as the doses are stored in containers at temperatures of minus 70 degrees Celsius(-158 degrees Fahrenheit) and must be used within two hours of thawing.

Greece has been accelerating a slow-rolling vaccination program hindered by the European Union’s failure to get enough doses, the New Democracy government opening several mega-centers.

Some 1.5 million people have gotten at least one of two required doses of the vaccines although the program hit another snag over worries concerning blood clots from the United Kingdom’s AstraZeneca version and with the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the United States, marred by problems.