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Covid vaccines have saved thousands of lives, expert says, urging inoculation

Covid vaccines have saved thousands of lives, expert says, urging inoculation

Thousands of lives have been saved thanks to vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, infectious disease expert Sotiris Tsiodras told a conference in Athens on Thursday, stressing that “three doses are better than two.”

“Since the start of the pandemic and until April 2022, 39,000 deaths have been averted via vaccination in Greece,” said Tsiodras, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Athens University and chief scientific advisor for the Covid-19 pandemic for the Greek Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the government.

Speaking at a conference organized by the Hellenic Society for Infectious Diseases, Tsiodras also noted, however, that vaccination coverage has been uneven, warning that this “facilitates the emergence of new strains.”

“It is hard to predict the future, but we cannot rule out variants that are more transmissible and more able to evade vaccine protection,” he said.

On a more positive note, Tsiodras said that Greece can expect a relatively calm summer in pandemic terms due to widespread Covid inoculation and recovery from the virus.

“The hybrid immunity achieved in this country and in Europe, in combination with the good weather, will help us control and reduce the epidemic into the fall,” he said.