With more than 13,200 deaths in Greece from COVID-19 so far, a 70-year-old dentist who had been fully vaccinated and had no underlying symptoms has died from the Coronavirus in a rarity.
The vaccines are said to have a nearly 100 percent effective rate against perishing, and almost that much from being hospitalized or even feeling symptoms but there was no indication why the man died.
“We have the first death of a fully vaccinated patient… it was the first among (about) 13,000 deaths in Greece," Nikos Kapravelos, Director of one of the intensive care units of Thessaloniki's Papanikolaou hospital, told Open TV.
The man had followed all precautions and his wife and children had also been vaccinated, he said but there was no explanation from the country's panel of doctors and scientists advising the government on what may have happened.
It wasn't said if the victim had the rising Delta Variant that's especially contagious and makes up 80 percent of the rising number of cases in Greece as a rabid anti-vaxxer movement is slowing progress against the pandemic.
After cases were cut to around 300 a day earlier in the summer as the Eleftheria (Freedom) vaccination campaign was in full swing, they have jumped 10 times and on one day in August passed 4,000.
There's also worry about the numbers of those being hospitalized and with 250 in public hospital intensive care units (ICUs) and Greece's young so reluctant to inoculated that the New Democracy government is paying them 150 euros ($176.55) to get their shots.
But apart from health care workers who will be suspended without pay if they fail to comply, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hasn't made shots mandatory yet for others in the public sector but said he might if cases keep going up.
The President of the National Vaccination Committee, Maria Theodoridou, urged parents to vaccinate children 12-15 as schools set to reopen Sept. 13, the government still using a persuasion campaign that hasn't worked.
She said that children with underlying conditions are at risk of the virus and should be vaccinated immediately, insisting the vaccines are safe and effective, which rabid opponents of the shots don't believe.
“Side effects are the usual mild symptoms and myocardial side effects are extremely rare (12.6 cases in 1 million) while the risk of Coronavirus infection is more than tenfold,” she also said.
She added that when the summer vacation period ends and schools open that, “The vaccination of the children must be included in the planning,” said Kathimerini. Teachers, students and staff must either be fully vaccinated, have proof of recovery from the Coronavirus, or take two molecular tests weekly at their own cost.