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Sciences

Greek Journalist Who Opposed Vaccines Dies from COVID-19

December 14, 2021

ATHENS – Giorgos Trangas, 72, a provocative and populist Greek journalist who was a leading opponent of COVID-19 vaccines died in a hospital on Dec. 14 from complications of the Coronavirus, 10 days after being admitted.

An announcement from Sotiria Hospital, which specializes in pulmonary cases, said he died while being treated in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) which are being overwhelmed with cases, mostly anti-vaxxers.

He is said to have had underlying health problems and was not vaccinated, said Kathimerini, and said on Nov. 30 he had contracted the virus and was admitted to the hospital five days later when his condition got worse.

He was regarded as one of the country’s more influential voices for fringe elements, had been a publisher and a founder of the defunct Free People party outside the mainstream, and vocally opposed COVID shots.

The New Democracy government is having trouble reining in rabid and sometimes violent anti-vaxxers and hasn’t made shots mandatory as Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis backed away from a pledge to consider that.

Anti-vaxxers have attacked school officials and stepped up their attacks against health measures, refusing to wear masks and burning books by children’s author Evgenios Trivizas explaining the disease.

That happened in the city of Chalkida, north of Athens, destroying copies of the illustrated work informing children about the pandemic that some anti-vaxxers contend is a hoax and doesn’t exist.

The books were for daycare centers as the government is also picking up vaccinations for those 5-11, with some 29,000 making appointments for shots that anti-vaxxers believe could alter their DNA or control their minds.

They called the book “propaganda…trying to pervert young minds,” said Kathimerini, as government officials tried to persuade parents to vaccinate their children.

“The vaccination of children will reduce the spread of the virus in the community, by indirectly protecting vulnerable groups close to children,” said Maria Theodoridou, Chairperson of the National Vaccination Committee.

The 5-11 group can start getting shots on Dec. 15 and she said that there could  be possible side effects including a temperature and minor reactions around the injection site.

“Vaccination protects a child’s health … but there are small risks, such as the risk of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), where one in every 3,000 cases may be serious,” she said.

Citing from a study from the Lancet, she said that children aged 5-17 years old with asthma were three to six times more likely to be hospitalized for Coronavirus, the report added.

She said that children get only one-third of the antigen given to adults and that the two doses are administered three weeks apart or up to three months on the advice of a pediatrician if they show signs of illness after the first shot.

She also said that third booster shots are imperative for the fully vaccinated as the efficacy of their doses wears off after six months and that studies show it will boost antibody levels 25 times and reduce the risk of death, and of serious illness by some 90 percent.

Speaking at the same briefing, the Secretary-General of Primary Health Care at the Health Ministry, Marios Themistokleous, said that the vaccination rate for those over 60 has now reached 86.45 percent.

That came after the government said those in that sector who don’t make appointments for shots by Jan. 16, 2022 would face monthly fines of 100 euros ($113.15) which for pensioners would be deducted from benefits.

But he warned that there were 163,000 people over the age of 60 who received their second dose more than seven months ago and have not taken the booster shot third dose and 90,000 are now also considered unvaccinated.

 

 

 

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