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Politics

Greece’s State, Justice Ministers Test Positive for COVID-19

ATHENS – Greek Justice Minister Kostas Tsiaras said Jan 4 that he positive for the coronavirus, the second government official the same day after State Minister Akis Skertsos to be infected with COVID-19.

Tsiaras said he got a molecular PCR test which showed he had been infected and he is isolating, as required. He said so far his symptoms are “extremely mild” due to his full vaccination.

Prime Minister Kyriakis Mitsotakis has backed away from a pledge to consider mandatory shots for all of society as only heath care workers are required to be vaccinated, although those over 60 face that requirement as of Jan. 16.

The President of the National Vaccination Committee, Maria Theodoridou, said the effectiveness of two-shot vaccines against Omicron, which is driving up cases is “reduced compared to other variants,” while noting that three doses “offers protection but the duration is unknown,” said Kathimerini.

She also cited a British study of 815 patients with Omicron, which found that the booster shot was found to be 90 percent effective in preventing hospitalization although some 17 percent of patients in public hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs) in Greece are vaccinated, far higher than it was expected to be for them.

The Secretary General of Primary Healthcare, Marios Themistokleous, stressed that the percentage of fully vaccinated people in the general population is 67.3 percent, less than the 70 percent health officials said is needed to slow the pandemic.

He didn’t say if that includes third booster shots that are still being given and with rabid anti-vaxxers refusing to take the shots, spreading the Coronavirus through the rest of society.

 

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