Expert warns against downplaying virus risks

Expert warns against downplaying virus risks

No variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is innocuous and when Omicron infects unvaccinated people it can cause serious illness, health authorities stressed Thursday.

“Let us not deceive ourselves that things are going better and that the coronavirus will gradually turn into a common cold,” said Vana Papaevangelou, an infectious diseases specialist and member of the country’s expert health committee, referring in particular to seniors who refuse to get vaccinated.

“In the last week, more than 70% of Covid-19 deaths have been among unvaccinated people over the age of 70,” she said, adding that getting infected in the past does not mean unvaccinated people of this age group will be safe the next time.

She also referred a study published Thursday, which found that Covid vaccinations had prevented about 20,000 deaths by December 2021. “Full vaccination with three doses is the only way,” she said.