Free jabs offered to poor

An inoculation program heralded yesterday by the Health Ministry aims to provide free jabs to citizens without social security protection, including immigrants and Roma families, as well as their children. The program, planned by the Center for Infectious Diseases Control (KEEL), involves teams of pediatricians and nurses touring the country to provide disadvantaged social groups with mandatory jabs for measles, tetanus and other ailments. Those who receive jabs will be added to a register and issued with an inoculation card. «Only by giving children preventive inoculations, chiefly the responsibility of parents, can we bolster our health system,» Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said. Of Greece’s insured population, at least 95 percent have received mandatory inoculations, one of the highest rates in the European Union. Only 40 percent have received jabs for meningitis, however. Meanwhile, only 2 percent of Roma have received their full tetanus and diphtheria jabs and just 25 percent of Roma children are registered with the Social Security Foundation (IKA).

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