NEWS

Health professor foresees annual booster jabs against coronavirus

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There will be no return to the “normalcy” that society knew before 2020 as the coronavirus will continue to exist and “we will have to take regular booster shots, most likely in an annual dosage,” a professor of health policy and former government minister said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the two-day Athens Health Summit, organized by Kathimerini, Elias Mossialos said that to assess Greece’s “performance” in relation to other countries in terms of dealing with Covid-19, one must take a number of factors into account, such as the number of deaths per capita, comorbidity, health systems and other epidemiological data.

In Greece, the over-65s make up 22% of the population, compared to 11% in Israel. “If one made a simple comparison, one would say that we did not do too badly. We have lower vaccination rates than France, Ireland and other countries and higher ones compared to Bulgaria and Romania. So we have good levels compared to several European countries. Of course, we have not convinced a significant percentage of vulnerable groups and the elderly.”

The former PASOK MP and government spokesperson said that “logically the virus will become more contagious and less dangerous, which will be the result of stronger vaccines and medication.”

He did not expect the country to enter another total lockdown, but said local restrictions could not be ruled out. “Lockdowns are not a solution. It kicks the problem one or two months down the road. Vaccinations and the administration of the third dose should proceed immediately.”