Greece is getting ready for one of the largest mass immunizations as it awaits the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines, authorities said this week.
Speaking on MEGA channel, Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis announced that the procedure for vaccination will start from booking an appointment online through an e-platform very similar to airline ticketing sites, he said.
“The procedure will be simple thanks to the use of digital media,” he said.
More specifically, according to Pierrakakis:
- The vaccine is free.
- Users will enter their health number (AMKA) and current address online at emvolio.gov.gr– which is set to go on the air in the coming days. They will see open vaccination dates and locations available, and once selected will receive an online prescription. Authorities have left open the possibility of pharmacies also serving as booking spots.
- Users will book two appointments as the vaccine will be administered in two doses – the appointments may be subject to change should the user request.
- Special support services – not call centers – will be set up around the country for people who have no digital skills. Users will receive guidance through these channels. Pharmacies are set to operate as Information and Counseling Centers.
- Vaccination will be carried out at 1,018 centers and at set hospitals around the country.
Epidemiologists stress that despite being vaccinated, people will still be required to wear masks as vaccination may reduce the risk of coming down with Covid-19, but it does not guarantee that they will not become infected at all.
According to Deputy Health Minister Vassilis Kontozamanis, people will not be able to select which vaccine they receive. Greece will be receiving vaccines from at least two companies – BioNTech and Pfizer – under a European Commission deal.
Kontozamanis reassured sceptics that once a product has received authorization, it meets all the required by law conditions. He added that deliveries by drug makers will be made simultaneously.
Meanwhile, an awareness and information campaign is ready to launch in the coming days in efforts to raise the number of people proceeding with vaccination. Indicatively, according to the latest study carried out by the Athens University of Economics and Business, less than half (42 percent) of Greece’s residents have said they plan to be vaccinated.