ATHENS – The COVID-19 pandemic now seven months long will run head-on into the flu season in Greece that in recent years had seen as many as 150 die in a country where many shun vaccinations.
Preparing for it, the ruling New Democracy said the government had obtained another 1.2 million flu shots to bring the available number to 4.2 million although some pharmacists are requiring reservations and prescriptions.
Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias said the first batch will be administered after the second week of October, while electronic prescriptions will be issued as of Oct. 6, starting with healthcare workers and vulnerable members of the population, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions that make them susceptible to the Coronavirus and the flu.
“It will take an overwhelming display of social responsibility to protect these vulnerable groups, these people who are mostly at risk from the flu virus, and we have a moral obligation to help them. These are people with chronic illnesses who are at risk of becoming seriously ill and experiencing complications,” Kikilias said.
there is growing anxiety among Greece's scientists and medical specialists that the pandemic could become uncontrollable in the winter as it coincides with flu season.
That's being driven not just by the soaring number of cases that daily top 300 – with fears it could soon become more than 1,000 – but also by more young people being infected over defiance of health protocols and partying, and with more people needing to be put on ventilators, said Kathimerini.
There has been a big uptick in the number of people being put into Intensive Care Units (ICUs) that were beefed up during the pandemic with help from the Diaspora and a few benefactors, absent Greek shipping owners who did almost nothing to help out.