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Greece Won’t Extend COVID-19 Vaccinations to Beaches, Squares

ATHENS – Despite trying to speed a slowing COVID-19 vaccination program, Greece's New Democracy government so far has no plans to offer them to people at beaches or public squares.

Shots so far have to be scheduled by appointment at centers across the country but only about 37 percent of the country has been fully vaccinated, far short of a 70 percent benchmark needed to further beat back the pandemic.

“At this stage, Operation Freedom (the name of the vaccination campaign) is not considering a beach vaccination plan,” the Health Ministry said, according to the newspaper Kathimerini said.

Speaking at a briefing from Crete, General Secretary of Primary Healthcare, Marios Themistokleous, said that “operationally, there is the possibility at this time to vaccinate outside vaccination centers … even in large squares or beaches to vaccinate young people.”

While the beaches and squares aren't in the cards for now, the ministry said that there will be home vaccinations beginning in a separate program in which doctors can reach the bedridden and people who can't leave their homes for various reasons.

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