ATHENS – While the New Democracy government is easing health restrictions for rabid anti-vaxxers, those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may need a fourth shot in the autumn.
That was seen likely by Vana Papaevangelou, a Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases who is a member of the government’s advisory panel making recommendations on dealing with the pandemic.
“The effectiveness and duration of the third dose is greater than the first two doses, so there is no reason for great anxiety. We are studying the data and we will wait a while and work with other countries,” she said, reported Kathimerini.
She added that, “most of us believe a repeat dose of the vaccine will be needed in the autumn, but it is still early,” without explaining why the unvaccinated still aren’t being required to be inoculated and getting essentially the same benefits as the vaccinated about going into public gathering spots.
Journalist and author Tassoula Eptakili wrote in the paper that, “It will be interesting to see how the government plans to convince citizens to get a fourth dose of the vaccine when they are basically giving a free pass to those who have refused to protect themselves and others by getting the initial round.’
Papaevangelou said that based on the mathematical models, the pandemic wave of the Omicron BA2 variant of the coronavirus will peak soon and that it could lead to more hospital admissions.
That would be in the run-up to Easter with reports that the government is keen on further lifting measures then intead of the summer, as tourists are beginning to come in greater numbers for the spring.
Papaevangelou said that although there has been a stabilization in the number of confirmed cases in Greece compared to previous weeks, that more elderly – mostly all unvaccinated – are now being hospitalized.
She said there are 176,000 active cases, but that could be understimated as some positive self-test samples are not accompanied by laboratory confirmation, unreported to the National Organization for Public Health (EODY) she said.