ATHENS – Speeding what had been a slow-moving program, people in Greece over 40 years old will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines beginning in June under the current timetable despite uncertainty in deliveries.
That’s the plan, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias said in an interview with the state-run Athens-Macedonian news agency (ANA-MPA)at the same time the government complained about the European Union not speeding distribution.
While Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis isn’t making vaccinations mandatory for public health sector workers despite their being exposed daily to the Coronavirus, Kikilias urged the elderly to get theirs.
He also said, after Mitsotakis said being inoculated wouldn’t be mandatory, that the government after the summer will consider making them a requirement but it wasn’t said whether that would bar people from working if they don’t.
With a five-month lockdown now essentially suspended after easing and widespread defiance, there’s been a slow reduction in the number of cases, with 1,718 reported on April 11 and 52 deaths.
But that was seen tied to a smaller number of tests being given which don’t reveal the untested or asymptomatic carriers and there were still 780 people on ventilators in public hospital Intensive Care Units (ICU’s,) near capacity.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 295,480 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 8,885 fatalities but the government is going to open to tourists on May 14, with conditions they be vaccinated or can show negative tests.