The 19 islands participating in the Blue Freedom inoculation program with the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine, for permanent residents and seasonal workers over 18, are reportedly moving at different speeds.
The government attaches great significance to the program, both in terms of its scope and the time scale of its completion, as it will determine the volume of tourism the islands will have this summer and the health security of residents and visitors.
The platform for vaccination appointments has been divided into two groups of dates – May 17- 22 and May 23-30.
In the first group, bookings almost reached full capacity, exceeding 90%, corresponding to almost 22,000 vaccinations. Only Cephalonia, Limnos and Samos did not reach this percentage.
For the period from May 23 to 30, up until Friday two trends had become apparent – islands with very high numbers of appointments and others with lower rates. In total more than 13,000 appointments were scheduled.
Kathimerini understands that the islands of Salamina, Paros, Rhodes, Mykonos, Corfu, Naxos, Aegina and Thasos lead the pack with 100% appointment rates in both the May 17-22 and the May 23-30 groups.
They are followed closely by Chios with 100% in the first group and 97% in the second. Santorini had respective appointment rates of 100% and 89%, while Lefkada was at 95% in the first group and reached full capacity in the second group.
In contrast, lower appointment rates were recorded on Kos, which, although having a 100% rate for the May 17-22 group, was still only at 71% for the May 23-30 group.
On Kalymnos the corresponding numbers were 98% and 60% and on Syros it was 95% and 77%.
Cephalonia was far lower on the scale, with 54% and 24% participation respectively, as were Limnos, with 60% and 20%, Samos, with 70% and 17%, Zakynthos, with 90% and 24%, and Lesvos, with 90% and 51%. The disheartening figures of those last five islands prompted Health Ministry Secretary General for Primary Healthcare Marios Themistokleous to appeal to people to book appointments.
Nonetheless, the government remains optimistic that participation will pick up in the coming days and reach the desired threshold that will secure immunity in Greek island communities.