ATHENS – After making sure he was among the first in the country to get a COVID-19 vaccine, major opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras blasted the New Democracy government’s plan for administering them, which gave politicians priority.
He said the campaign was a “publicity stunt,” but allowed himself to be photographed being inoculated as political leaders, and reaching down into the ranks of those unknown to the public, said they wanted the shots to set an example that the vaccine is safe and effective.
There is a continent of anti-vaxxers in Greece, as they are called, people who don’t believe in the vaccine and some who think it’s a conspiracy between governments and pharmaceutical companies to inject them with material to control them.
“A government that tries to stage a publicity stunt around receiving three vaccine boxes looks neither serious nor responsible,” he said after receiving a shot from the first batch of 9,750 doses – good for only 4,875 people – after the government said it was expecting millions of shots.
Tsipras has been sniping constantly at the government’s handling of the pandemic, getting a boost when Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis admitted waiting too long to bring a second lockdown, which saw a second wave surge.
“Greek citizens have every reason to feel insecurity over the government’s management of the pandemic, over its actions and criminal oversights,” Tsipras said without specifying what he meant.
After carping about the vaccination program he told people not to worry about taking it, hardcore SYRIZA elements among the major doubters, but took another shot at Mitsotakis, saying the government is using the rollout to cover up failures in a healthcare system underfunded by the leftists when in power.