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Society

Greece Says COVID-19 Vaccine Program Picking Up Steam Fast

ATHENS – It was a long time coming, but Greece's COVID-19 vaccination program dubbed Eleftheria (Freedom) is stepping up in a bid to slow the pandemic and try to bring herd immunity to the country.

Some 70 percent of the population of 10.7 million – about 7.49 million people – is the benchmark that must be hit, health officials said, but little more than 13 percent have been fully inoculated, with two shots required of vaccines, apart from the single-shot Johnson & Johnson from the United States.

Government spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni that said on May 20 there were about, who noted on Thursday that about 4,615,000 vaccinations had been performed.

“More than 2,974,000 of our fellow citizens have been vaccinated with at least one dose and more than 1,709,000 have completed their vaccination,” she said, adding that there are currently 1,517 vaccination centers in operation and more are expected.

Greece also expects millions more doses of various vaccines arriving through the end of June as the European Union, which failed to deliver enough because of a cumbersome distribution program, has contracted for more.

Citing official estimates, she said that by the end of May more than 5,600,000 vaccinations will have been administered although the government's goal was to have achieved that months earlier.

“More than 3.5 million of our fellow citizens will have received at least one dose (34%) and more than 2 million will be fully vaccinated (20%),” she said, reported Kathimerini.

Peloni also said that the vaccination platform will open with all four available vaccines for the 40-44 age group with the platform for the 35-39 and 30-34 groups to follow, with all available varieties.

Officials expect vaccinations to peak in June. At the end of May, it is estimatred that more than 5.6 million jabs will have been administered, with over 2 million having received their second dose then.

Read also: Kikilias: Greece's Vaccination Programme Is Making Fast Progress

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