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Greek Medical Pros Say Online Pharmacist Flu Shot Sessions Risky

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Photo: Eurokinissi/ Yiannis Panagopoulos, file

ATHENS - Greece’s Medical Association (PIS) wants the government not to let pharmacists receive only online training and certification so they can learn how to vaccinate, including for giving flu shots.

“Certification via the Internet, where you see success rates in the exams of over 96 percent, can only be described as laughable,” PIS said, reported Kathimerini. “An online seminar cannot make up for an absence of training,” the group preferring pharmacists receive hands-on instruction.

Healthcare provider EOPYY said the decision by the New Democracy government to let online training take the place of in-person guidance was a public health hazard and risky, with 53 deaths from the flu so far and people being urged to get shots even deep into the flu season.

The country's highest administrative court, The Council of State upheld legislation allowing non-pharmacists to operate drug stores, but also allowing licensed pharmacists to carry out vaccinations after being certified by an online licensed institution, as has already been authorized by seven European countries to make the flu shot even more accessible to the public and not given only by doctors in their offices.