ATHENS – While they had good cause to be uncertain about the government's handling of the pandemic, Greek citizens have no reason to feel fear the vaccine, main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras stressed on Monday.
"Greek citizens have every reason to feel insecure given the government's management of the pandemic so far, to feel insecure about its actions and especially its criminal omissions. They have no reason, however, to feel insecure about the vaccine and vaccination," Tsipras said after getting the vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 at Athens' Evangelismos Hospital.
"The vaccine is a weapon that science offers us to face the pandemic and the virus. If only it were possible to quickly immunise the greater part of the population, and especially the vulnerable groups," he said.
Unfortunately, he added, this was not possible and the number of doses secured did not inspire optimism that a protective shield against the virus will have been created by the summer or next autumn.
Given that, he pointed out, this important weapon given by science was not in itself sufficient protection against a possible third wave of the pandemic in the coming months.
"Based on the knowledge of the first 10 months, the government has no excuse for pinning all its hopes on vaccination and not also taking action at the same time to strengthen the national health system, to hire permanent doctors and nurses, to give doctors incentives through a pay rise to join the national health system, to reinforce primary health care and offer free prescriptions for the tests so that the population can be scanned, to support all the pilot and experimental programmes for treatments, since the issue is to save as many of those people as we can, who will be infected with the virus while the vaccination programme is underway."
The main opposition urged anyone still hesitating to come forward and be vaccinated, stressing that there was no reason to be fearful and that "we must all do what we can so that we are able to get our lives back."