NEWS

Vaccination platform for 40-year-olds seen opening in May

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Greece’s general secretary for primary healthcare indicated on Tuesday that the vaccination platform will be ready to open to people in their 40s in May as the country expects a significant increase in vaccine deliveries over the next two months.

Speaking on Skai TV, Marios Themistokleous confirmed that the first batch of 33,600 single-dose vaccines from Johnson & Johnson is expected on Wednesday and will be rolled out starting on Monday. This will be followed by an additional 300,000 doses in May and another 960,000 or so the month after that.

Greece is also expecting a big boost from Pfizer over the next three months, with some 1 million doses coming in April and reaching more than 1.7 million in June.

Moderna has the smallest number of deliveries, with between 100,000 and 150,000 scheduled for early May.

Themistokleous admitted that recent reports about the link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a rare type of blood clot has created “some turbulence” in Greece’s vaccination program, but added that “turnout nevertheless remains very high compared to other countries.”

In terms of overall take-up, the official said that the lowest rate (50%) is among people aged 60-64 and the highest (75%) in the 75-79 year-old group. “The group of 85 and above was also hesitant at first with a rate of 50%, but that has now reached 65%,” Themistokelous said, appealing to the public to get vaccinated.

The vaccination window for people aged 55-59 on the government’s emvolio.gov.gr website is expected to open on April 21 and for the 50-54 age group on April 23.

Some 800,000 high-risk individuals with underlying health problems like diabetes can start registering for their vaccines on Friday, with the category being expanded as of April 19 to include more medical conditions, Themistokelous said. 

“They will all have received the first dose by mid-May,” he said.