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Greek Police Probe Theft of COVID-19 Vaccine Vial Holding Six Doses

February 11, 2021

ATHENS – Greek Police are looking into the apparent theft of a vial of the COVID-19 Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine holding six doses that vanished from a medical center in the neighborhood of Peristeri.

A nurse told police she took it out from a freezer to administer a dose and left it on a specific spot but left them room – without saying why – and that it wasn’t there when she went back to get it, reported Kathimerini.

Police reportedly did not find any signs of forced entry but were going to collect fingerprints and DNA samples from the room and question the nurse further, although she was not identified.

Speaking to Open TV,, the President of the Athens and Piraeus hospital doctors’ association (EINAP), Matina Pagoni, said the vaccine is useless to the person who stole it because it will be destroyed if it is not kept at the proper temperature and it is very difficult to use outside a lab.

Greek Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis late in 2020 said the country would be getting millions of doses but deliveries are far behind schedule and only 4.46 percent of the population has been inoculated.

Health officials said at least 70 percent of the population of nearly 10.7 million people, or about 7.49 million people – need to get the shot for the program to be effective in slowing the pandemic, now almost a year long.

According to Health Ministry data, a total of 446,780 vaccinations of both the first and second dose have been administered, the first batch requiring two shots three weeks apart.

A platform offering appointments for vaccinations for those 60-64 to get a version from the United Kingdom’s AstraZeneca has opened but almost impossible to get in as it crashes constantly, leaving people to try through pharmacies and the KEP public service offices – which require appointments.

The platform will also offer vaccination appointments for those aged 75-79 although it isn't working well, if at all most of the time.

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