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Politics

Greek Health Min: Slow Vaccine Rollout Raises Alarm

January 27, 2021

ATHENS — The national vaccinations plan is unfolding according to the vaccines' availability, said Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias at the regular Wednesday evening live briefing on the coronavirus pandemic.

Referring also to his briefing of party leaders earlier in the day, the minister added that the government has ensured the second dose of the vaccine for those citizens who have received the first dose.

Despite the fact coronavirus vaccines were produced in a record-breaking short amount of time, and are safe and effective, said Kikilias, he did point out that the availability of vaccines is hindered by alarming delays in distribution to EU member states.

"Beyond the reasons of these delays, about which little is known even at EU-level, we must bear in mind that the EU -with its 27 states, its 450 million citizens and its 22 trillion euros of Gross Domestic Product in public health issues- must and should negotiate even more firmly, and protect its weakest citizens against business and intra-national competition."

"These companies need to understand that the best part of their financial sponsoring came from state budgets, namely taxpayers' money, including the citizens of Greece," he underlined.

EU member states and businesses "are very well aware that there is no economy without good public health," he concluded.

However, the minister did day that the number of vaccines produced and approved "will increase month-over-month".

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