A vaccine against Covid-19 currently being tested will be available free of charge to Greek citizens once it becomes available, said Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday.
The decision was announced at a government coronavirus briefing during which he also announced the mandatory use of mask by students and teachers as the school years begins and that masks in this case will be provided free of charge.
“The vaccine will be available free of charge to all Greek citizens. We do not yet know if it will be one or if there will be more [vaccines]. We do not know when we will have it at our disposal…But whenever we have the vaccine at our disposal, it will be available free of charge to all Greek citizens,” Mitsotakis said.
The prime minister was referring to the vaccine currently in large-scale clinical in trials being developed by drug maker AstraZeneca in collaboration of Oxford University.
Greece said it has secured by December to have a first batch of three million doses of a planned vaccine if it passes trials.
With regard to school masks, Interior Minister Takis Theodorikakos said the government had allocated 5.2 million euros to municipal authorities to “supply all students and teachers with masks”, adding that details on school operation will be announced in the coming days.
Earlier this week, Australia announced that it entered a deal with the AstraZeneca to supply a potential Covid-19 vaccine to its citizens free of charge, ensuring in this way that it secures supplies of the drug should the trials succeed. The deal foresees the manufacture of the vaccine by the Australian government and free doses to all citizens.
At the same time, AstraZeneca said that it had also struck deals with the US, Russia, South Korea, Japan, China, Brazil, and with the European Commission to provide up to 400 million doses to EU member states.