ATHENS – Wanting to show it’s safe and effective, Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis and major opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras will be among the first in Greece to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Greece had expected millions of doses but will get only 9,750 for now – with two shots required weeks apart that’s enough for only 4,875 people – priority given to front line healthcare workers and people in nursing homes.
Next would be those most susceptible to the Coronavirus, the elderly and those with underlying or multiple conditions and most at risk of perishing during a soaring second wave.
The head of the National Organization for Public Health (EODY), Panagiotis Arkoumaneas, told SKAI radio that expected mass vaccination of the general population to begin in February with follow-up deliveries, a first batch of some 130,000 doses to get it underway before turning to the general population.
Citizens will be informed through and can use the digital platform emvolio.gov.gr about the date and location for their vaccination, which the government said wouldn’t be mandatory.
There is resistance from anti-vaccination groups who are rabidly against it and fear among others that it might not work nor be safe and worries about the still unknown mass side effects for something produced in 10 months.
Citizens can register on the platform and, when the time comes, will be informed about their appointment via SMS or email. Those not registered on the platform will be able to schedule an appointment in January by entering their AMKA number into the system, which will inform them if they belong to the groups that are being vaccinated at that time.