CORONAVIRUS

Vaccination program goes into high gear

Vaccination program goes into high gear

Despite adverse weather conditions, more than 25,000 people – a record – were vaccinated against the coronavirus on Monday.

Vaccinations were facilitated by the opening of two “supercenters,” in the northern Athens suburb of Maroussi and in the city of Thessaloniki, both on premises owned by the Thessaloniki International Fair. The Athens center has 48 vaccination stations and the Thessaloniki center 24. Up to 5 p.m. on Monday, more than 1,400 had been vaccinated in the Athens supercenter and 600 in Thessaloniki.

A Health Ministry official said that more than 90% of all scheduled appointments took place as planned on Monday. Those who were scheduled to get the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and couldn’t make it can reschedule their appointment through the emvolio.gov.gr online platform, citizens’ service centers (KEP) or their local pharmacies, without incurring the one-month penalty they would otherwise for not showing up.

Some vaccination centers delayed their opening and those on the islands of Icaria and Cephalonia did not open at all because flights to those destinations were canceled and no vaccine distribution took place.

Also on Monday, vaccination began of the 60-to-64-year-olds; 239,000 people in this age group have already scheduled an appointment. Within the week, those aged 75-79 will begin vaccinations. They will be followed by younger people with very serious underlying conditions making them especially vulnerable to the disease, such as those on a waiting list for a transplant, with advanced kidney failure, cancer patients, people with serious liver disease, chronic respiratory problems and others.

There are an estimated 370,000 people in these categories and their vaccination will start in March, to be followed by the 70-74 and 65-69 age groups. At the same time, those aged 18-59 with less serious underlying conditions, such as diabetes and morbid obesity, will also be inoculated.

On Monday, 698 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed across Greece and 26 patients died. In Attica 88% of the available specialized Covid intensive care units were filled on Monday and only 27 were available.

An Athens University research project shows that 80% of health personnel developed Covid antibodies after one vaccination and 100% after the second.