ATHENS – In another setback for the New Democracy government’s hopes to get more of Greece’s population inoculated against COVID-19, some 12 percent of the fully vaccinated have shied away from getting a booster shot.
That comes as those over 60 must register by Jan. 16, 2022 for their first of two shots of most versions or face 100-euro ($113) monthly fines but with no plans for mandatory shots or further measures against the unvaccinated.
Rabid anti-vaxxers are spreading the Coronavirus during the resurging pandemic that has seen public hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs) overwhelmed with critical care cases and the national health system under pressure.
A nationwide research from Nov. 5-22 by the the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, sponsored by the Hellenic Association of Pharmaceutical Companies found 88 percent of the vaccinated.
But 8 percent will not and the other 4 percent are straddling the fence, with the skeptics either thinking it’s not necessary or are afraid of possible side effects despite getting their first two shots and no evidence of problems from boosters.
The survey also lso showed that two out of three Greek parents have not vaccinated their children and only 33 percent said they will as the platform for those 5-11 will allow them to make appointments for shots.
The study found that 74 percent of the adult population has been vaccinated – but little more than 62 percent with both shots – and only 43 percent for the flu which is a winter danger as well.
Health authorities said at least 70 percent of the population of 10.7 million must be fully vaccinated to beat back the pandemic but Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has moved away from a pledge to make shots a requirement.
And 11 percent of people said that they did not receive treatment and/or diagnostic services they needed in the last year, 49 percent over the cost, 24 percent for the distance and 23 percent blaming the pandemic.