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Politics

Gerapetritis: Nothing Will Open Unless It Is Completely Safe

December 3, 2020

ATHENS — State Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis, in statements to Thema FM radio on Thursday, referred to the government's plans for administering the vaccine against the novel coronavirus in Greece, while also stressing that no economic activity will resume "unless it is completely safe".

He said the government's plan calls for over 1,000 vaccination points throughout Greece and over 2 million doses a month, or the vaccination of one million people every month, while he also highlighted that the European Union has very strict rules on approving new pharmaceutical products.

Regarding the levels of the pandemic in Greece, he reported a stabilisation that was tending toward a slight reduction but "not at a rate that generates safety. Two exceptionally strong features remain: the first is the strong pressure on the national health system, while there are also the areas where the health situation remains very poor, where we have not seen the reduction we expected in terms of the viral load. These two factors lead us to be very cautious and nothing will open unless it is completely safe".

Commenting on the fact that the United States and the United Kingdom will start vaccinating people earlier than the EU, the minister cited the very strict EU rules for approving new pharmaceutical products. "Safety should not be sacrificed for the sake of speed but, on the other hand, neither we can we delay very much," he said, expressing the opinion that the EU may now revise its time schedule, which envisages receiving the vaccines at the end of December or early January, given the pressure from the US and the UK.

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