NEWS

Experts approve booster Covid-19 shot for those over 60, vulnerable

experts-approve-booster-covid-19-shot-for-those-over-60-vulnerable

The government will make a Covid-19 booster vaccine available to vulnerable groups from Tuesday, Health Ministry experts said, hoping to curb a rise in Delta variant infections.

Authorities would start making booster jab appointments available from Tuesday to persons with compromised immune systems and individuals over the age of 60.

“It can be administered 6-8 months after the second dose,” said Maria Theodoridou, chair of the Greek National Vaccination Committee.

“For the immuno-compromised it can be given even four weeks after the second dose.”

In August, the medical advisers recommended a booster shot with mRNA vaccines for vulnerable groups with underlying conditions.

Theodoridou also said that 140,000 children aged 12-17 have been vaccinated to date. The vaccination rate for 12 to 14 year olds is 13 percent and for 15 to 17 year olds 25%.

“Not a single day should be wasted, vaccinations should not be postponed,” Theodoridou said, dismissing arguments that vaccination can “inhibit the growth of children or change their DNA”.

However, only 48% of 18 to 24 year olds are vaccinated, compared to 65.5% of 40 to 44 year olds.

The country reported 1,608 new Covid-19 infections and 51 related deaths on Monday, bringing the total number of infections since the pandemic began to 616,765 and the death toll to 14,223.

Greece has so far administered more than 11.8 million first shots. About 56% of the population is fully vaccinated. The government hopes to increase that figure to up to 70 percent in an attempt to build wide immunity against the virus.

[Reuters/Kathimerini]