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Greek Epidemiologist Sees Vaccines Bringing End of COVID Pandemic

ATHENS – The still dangerous Coronavirus won’t disappear but vaccinations have reached such a high level of the populace that it won’t be a pandemic anymore, a member of the government’s advisory task force said.

Ghikas Magiorkinis, an Assistant Professor of Hygiene and Epidemiology at the Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens told the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency that he was optimistic the deadliest phase has been beaten back.

“Infections from COVID-19 may remain at high levels, but there is enough population immunity, as the people who have been infected (mostly in the last six months) or have been vaccinated, exceed 90 percent, so there is a brake on how quickly it can be transmitted, unlike other viruses,” he explained.

He said that mathematical models he developed showed that in 2022 the level of infections are lower compared to the year before despite the New Democracy government ending health restrictions to lure tourists.

Based on the current data, the possibility of an outbreak in December has been downgraded, Magiorkinis said adding that the sub-variants of Omicron BQ.1 and BQ1.1 have reached a rate of over 25-30 percent in Greece.

“I don’t think at the moment that they will create any particular problem, so I estimate that we will gradually downgrade their importance. At the moment we don’t have a more dynamic variant that is causing concern, so based on this data, we don’t think there is any risk for the next one or two months,” he also said.

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