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Greek Health Min: 4th Dose of COVID Vaccine Likely

ATHENS – A fourth dose of a vaccine against Covid-19 will likely be necessary, especially for vulnerable groups, Health Minister Thanos Plevris said on Monday while speaking on SKAI television. He said that the government and his counterparts in Europe envisaged something along the lines of the seasonal flu shot, without having to repeatedly invite the population to get vaccinated.

“I consider it a given that there will be an issue of vaccinating the population, especially the vulnerable population, as we approach the months of autumn,” he said.

He also noted a decision by all European Union countries to defer deliveries originally planned for the summer until September because the pharmaceutical companies consider that “at that time …we will have a vaccine that is much more effective against Omicron.”

Whether this vaccination will be universal or target specific groups, he added, was a decision that would be made by the appropriate scientific bodies.

The health minister concluded by stressing that the pandemic was not over: “…what is happening throughout Europe is that the pandemic is subsiding…but everyone tells us, all the scientists here in Greece and abroad and the ECDC, that we must be very careful because even under these conditions, in other words with the Omicron variant and with the process remaining the same, we will definitely come under pressure in the autumn.”

Regarding the wearing of masks on board ships, Plevris said that this will be discussed by the scientists’ committee when it meets this week, taking into account the decision to abolish a requirement to wear masks on aircraft, as they are equipped with special filters.

“Where we have numbered seats and can control the number of people that enter, it may be possible to simply recommend wearing masks. On urban public transport, however, where there are no such seats and more numbers of people may enter, a mask remains mandatory.”

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