COVID VACCINES

Boosters starting for 50-59 year-olds, as expert urges elderly to get the shot

boosters-starting-for-50-59-year-olds-as-expert-urges-elderly-to-get-the-shot

People aged 50-59 years old and with an underlying health condition that puts them in the high-risk category will be able to book an appointment for their Covid-19 booster shot on the emvolio.gov.gr platform as of this Sunday, the general secretary for primary healthcare, Marios Themistokleous, told Thursday’s public briefing on the pandemic.

Six months need to have elapsed from the completion of the initial vaccination against Covid-19, health authorities note.

Themistokleous also said that mobile units are still being dispatched to remote parts of the country to offer shots to residents who may have trouble getting to a hospital or center that provides them, and added that the next areas to expect a visit from the National Organization for Public Health will be Kilkis, Pieria, Xanthi and Florina in northern Greece.

Many parts of northern Greece have struggled to contain the pandemic since it hit Greece in 2020 and are also struggling with vaccine hesitancy, as evidenced by the rising number of cases in the port city of Thessaloniki, despite it having been at the epicenter of last autumn’s wave.

According to Vana Papevangelou, a pediatrician and infectious disease expect on the committee advising the government on coronavirus policy, health authorities estimate that there are currently at least 3,000 active Covid-19 cases in the city of Thessaloniki from a nationwide total of roughly 20,000. She also sounded the alarm for Larissa, in central Greece, which has consistently reported a relatively high number of infections and is now believed to have at least 1,200 active cases.

Speaking at the same public briefing, Papevangelou warned of an increase in infections among elderly people in areas with low vaccination coverage, while reiterating that the vast majority of Covid-19 patients in intensive care are unvaccinated.

“One in four people over 80 are unvaccinated,” she stressed, adding that unvaccinated people in that age group are 20 times more at risk of dying from Covid than their peers who have had the shot.