As lawmakers in Parliament Thursday evening passed the amendment for the mandatory vaccination of health and care workers, authorities sounded the alarm over a shift in the spread of the coronavirus noted in the past week, from the 20-25 age group to 40-60 year-olds.
According to the data provided Thursday by the professor of infectious diseases at Athens University and member of the Health Ministry’s committee of experts Vana Papaevangelou, the percentage of confirmed infections in the last week in adults over the age of 40 has increased significantly to constitute almost 30% of new cases.
In the week from July 12 to 18, a total of 3,163 cases were recorded in adults aged 40 to 60 years old, which means an increase of 75% compared to the week before that for this age group.
Papaevangelou said this increase goes hand-in-hand with a rise in hospitalizations that have now exceeded 1,000 after several weeks. If this trend continues, she said, it will lead to renewed pressure on the national health system.
Significantly, increased admissions are seen to be directly related to the relatively low vaccination rate of this age group, which does not exceed 65%.
“This means that one in three people aged 40 to 60 has not been vaccinated. And they are the parents of people who are now on the islands and will be returning with the virus in their luggage,” the expert stressed, calling on people in that age group to get their shots as soon as possible.
“There is no excuse for postponing vaccination until September,” she noted, adding that the country is in “a race to vaccinate as many people as possible now.”
She also highlighted that 99% of intubated Covid patients in intensive care units are unvaccinated or only partly vaccinated. “Only 42 of the 4,600 patients who were intubated from last February until a week ago were vaccinated,” Papaevangelou said.
Meanwhile, health authorities Thursday confirmed 2,604 new cases of coronavirus and five fatalities. Eleven of the 2,604 cases involved tourists tested upon arrival.
Greece’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases is now 469,042, with 12,875 dead.
Nine patients remain intubated in intensive care, while 2,774 have left ICU.