ATHENS -- Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias said that 32 of the country's smaller islands have completed vaccinations, speaking at Wednesday's regular live briefing on the pandemic.
Inoculations at another 36 islands with up to 10,000 inhabitants will be completed by the end of May, he added. The minister also provided details concerning the "Blue Freedom" program, which prioritizes vaccinations for permanent residents of islands.
Residents of 19 of the country's major islands will be vaccinated under this program by the end of June. These islands include Egina near Athens, all major Ionian Islands, Lesvos, Mykonos, Paros, Rhodes and Santorini, among others. They will all receive the single-dose vaccination of Johnson & Johnson.
Assisting in the state's vaccination of islanders will be voluntary organizations and Mobile Medical Units, an initiative of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and its “Regeneration & Progress” non-profit-making organization to provide health services to islands without regular access to health services.
Kikilias said this past week Greece became 4th among all EU countries in the rate of inoculation per 100 residents (according to Our World in Data) and 8th among the same 27 countries for the rate of full vaccination of the population.
Currently Greece has conducted nearly 4 million vaccinations, he said, adding that 24.59 percent of the population have received at least one dose (2.6 million people), and over 13 pct have completed their vaccinations (over 1.3 million). Additionally, it is impressive that nearly 97 pct of people with appointments keep them, Kikilias noted.