ATHENS – While rabid anti-vaxxers aren’t required to be inoculated against COVID-19, those over 70 in Greece who are fully vaccinated are now being offered a second booster, or fourth shot, within a year.
The platform had opened to those over 80 earlier at the same time the New Democracy government is rapidly easing health restrictions and essentially offering the same benefits of entering public gathering places to the unvaccinated and ending fines for those over 60 who refused the shot.
While some health measures are still allegedly in place, they are being largely ignored and scenes show restaurants, bars and taverns filling in the spring air and no report whether the unvaccinated not allowed in are being checked.
The government said the fourth shot will soon be offered to those 60-69 but no date was given, said Kathimerini, nor was it said that the second booster would be a requirement to show full vaccination.
Greece’s National Vaccination Committee gave approval after reviewing epidemiological data, the time interval since the first booster shot and the country’s vaccination coverage, now estimated at around 72 percent.
The regulatory clearance of fourth shots for older adults by the United States Food and Drug Adminstration and Centers for Disease Control is believed to have influenced the decision, the paper said.
An estimated 1.3 million people over the age of 60 are eligible for the second booster shot, which is also recommended for immunocompromised children and 12-17-year-olds with health officials saying the second booser shot reduces the risk of hospitalization with reports some 42 percent of patients on ventilators in public hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs) are fully vaccinated.