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Greece Opens New Covid-19 Booster Shot Vaccinations

Photo source: ECDC

Vaccinations with the latest booster shot against Covid-19 began on Wednesday in Greece for priority groups with the country’s expert committee also approving the 5th dose for people aged 30-59.

“Primary vaccination and booster doses protect against severe disease and death but the limited duration of immunity and the appearance of mutations has created the need for new vaccines,” said National Vaccination Committee President Maria Theodoridou, during an emergency briefing on the National Vaccination Coverage Plan this week.

Speaking to the press she said the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved Omicron-targeted vaccines produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna which can be used as boosters for people aged 12 and above three months after the last dose of whichever vaccine or after recovery.

Priority has been given to people aged 60 and above, 12 to 15-year-olds belonging to high risk groups, health care and elderly home care staff.

Booster shots are not mandatory but the committee has yet to decide if the 60+ group should get the extra jab.

Theodoridou also referred to the issue of vaccination fatigue among citizens, adding however that the committee is insisting on a 4th dose for the over-60s with serious ailments.

Citizens can book an appointment for vaccination here.

According to data, 21.3 million Greeks have been vaccinated against Covid-19 with Greece ranking 12th among the EU’s 27 states in terms of vaccination rate.

Meanwhile, according to media reports, a draft bill has been tabled in parliament according to which Greeks may be required to prove vaccination with the relevant certificate or produce a negative test result at their work place through to the end of the year.

On the Covid-19 front, a University of Washington IHME study this week found that at least 17 million people in 53 member states of the WHO European Region have suffered from Long Covid, which includes symptoms that last for more than four weeks such as brain fog, fatigue, shortness of breath, sleep issues, chest pain, loss of smell and taste. According to the study, Long Covid incidents increased by 307 percent between 2020 and 2021.

According to the National Public Health Organization (EODY), over the September 5-11 period, 33,590 new Covid cases were reported in Greece, 22 percent of which repeat infections and 129 deaths.

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About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.

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