Raising a wall against Omicron
After mandates for over-60s, shortening of interval between second dose and booster announced
Despite the fact that the government continues to insist that there will not be a new lockdown, it has been constantly enacting new targeted measures aimed not only at bringing an end to the current fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, but also to shield the country in the event of a very possible fifth wave in the new year.
With this in mind and after making the vaccination those aged over 60 mandatory, the government on Friday proceeded to announce that booster shots can be administered three months months after the second dose of the vaccines, from six months up until now. As of Friday evening, people over 18 will be able to book their booster shot for the Covid-19 vaccine three months after their second vaccine, a Health Ministry official said.
The rationale behind the decision was that the vaccine does not expire all of a sudden in six months, but that its potency begins to wane earlier, which means the booster can be administered earlier. What’s more, the onset of the Omicron variant, which appears to be more contagious, merits earlier shielding.
The committee of experts advising the government on the coronavirus, who made the suggestion, told Kathimerini that the change of the booster shot timing will help shield a large part of the population earlier, ahead of the critical months of January and February, when a fifth wave is probably imminent.
The pandemic is currently in a stabilization phase, albeit at high levels. This practically means that it will relent in December, as was the case last year, but this by no means entails Greece being out of the woods as winter lies ahead, bringing with it a fifth or even sixth wave by spring.
Against this backdrop, the government’s main objective is to ensure that the country is sufficiently shielded, especially when it comes to people over the age of 60, who are the most vulnerable age group and most likely to end up in the hospital.
Kathimerini understands that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had been mulling mandatory vaccinations for this age group since early November and decided to move ahead with the onset of the Omicron variant and when it became apparent that eight out of 10 people in intensive care units were over 60 years old.