A woman stands outside a vaccination cubicle, at a new vaccination mega center in Athens, Friday, April 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
ATHENS – It won't be mandatory but Greece will make COVID-19 booster shots available to those most susceptible to the Coronavirus or over 60 years old as the vaccination campaign to slow the pandemic has stalled.
Only 56.7 percent of Greeks are fully vaccinated with two shots of most versions or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson from the United States that has been less in use, but some scientists said boosters are needed for the most vulnerable.
A benchmark of 70 percent of the population of 10.7 million is needed to be inoculated to beat back the pandemic that's gone on for 18 months and counting, with fears of a fourth wave in the autumn.
Also eligible, said Kathimerini, are the elderly at care units, as well as health care professionals, a small percentage of whom aren't vaccinated at all, refusing shots, for which they've been suspended without pay.
Marios Themistokleous, Secretary-General in charge of vaccinations, said an online platform to make an appointment for booster shots will open on Sept. 30, only for those whose last shot was six to eight months earlier.
The president of the National Vaccination Committee, Maria Theodoridou, said that, “Vaccines are effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death,” with the now-dominant Delta Variant targeting the unvaccinated.
“Antibodies as an indicator of the immune response decrease over time, five to six months after vaccination,” she said, showing that with the rise of Delta that the Coronavirus' resilience still poses “a risk to a number of individuals.”
The most susceptible, she said, are those who did not develop antibodies when they were first vaccinated (immunosuppressed individuals, transplants), and need the booster to supplement that.
The second group at risk are those for whom factors such as age and others (underlying diseases) lead to reduced antibodies, while the third group consists of people most exposed to the virus.
“The National Committee gave a positive opinion first for the immunocompromised,” she said, noting that older people at care units and people over the age of 60 are next in line, the paper reported.
She also stressed that “the increased risk in people over 60 is reflected in epidemiological data.” She added: “The percentage age distribution of patients aged 60-79 years in special ICU beds reached 59.02 percent and 48 percent respectively in deaths,” indicating the danger.
“We see a significant burden at this age,” she said, adding, “The group over 60 has the criteria to show that it needs reinforcement with a third dose.”
KARDITSA, Greece - Months after investigations were started into the issuance of false COVID-19 documents, an administrative employee and a nurse at a health center in Greece's northern city of Karditsa were fired, the Health Ministry said.
BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.
NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.
STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.
Have an idea for a story, or know of an event we should cover? We want to hear about it!
The National Herald is the paper of record of the Greek Diaspora community. Through independent journalism, we bring news to generations of Greek-Americans, with stories on the individual, community and international level. Visit and support our 106 year-old sister publication Εθνικός Κήρυξ.
You’re reading 1 of 3 free articles this month. Get unlimited access to The National Herald. or Log In