ATHENS – With only some 1.5 million people having received one of two required COVID-19 vaccine shots so far, Greece’s New Democracy government has set an ambitious goal to reach 4 million by the end of May.
That was set despite many people reluctant to take the United Kingdom’s AstraZeneca shot over blood clot worries, the same problem leading the United States to pause the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine that Greece was set to start using on April 19.
Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said Greece wants to have six million vaccinations done by the end of June, said Kathimerini, but it wasn’t said if he means both of two required inoculations.
Health experts said shots are needed to given to 70 percent of the population of 10.7 million, about 7.49 million, to be effective in slowing the pandemic but Greece has relied on the cumbersome delivery scheme of the European Union.
“(Authorities) are making a huge effort,” he said during a visit at a new vaccination center in Patra in the northern Peloponnese, Greece’s third-largest city on the west coast, a region being especially hard hit by the Coronavirus.
He said Greece has so far administered 2,252,569 doses, speaking a day after
Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis said 1.5 million shots have been given, which is far below the original goal the government set.
As of April 15, the operation of a new center in Patra with 16 vaccination lines will start, after one was also opened in the Athens neighborhood of Peristeri, the largest part of the capital.