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Greece: Booster vaccines to start in mid-September

Greece will be administering a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine to vulnerable individuals as of mid-September, starting with some 285,000 people with compromised immune systems, according to an official announcement on Monday.

The platform for booking vaccine appointments will open for this particular group on September 14, the president of the National Vaccination Committee, Maria Theodoridou, and the general secretary for primary healthcare, Marios Themistokleous, told the Health Ministry’s daily public briefing.

Booster shots, Theodoridou said, will also be administered to people residing in nursing homes as well as to over-60-year-olds, many of whom may have already started seeing their antibody levels dropping from their first round of shots last winter. “Professionals who have a high exposure to the virus and patients with other chronic illnesses will follow,” she added.

“A sufficient number of vaccines and the preparedness of the system will help the campaign,” she added.

Noting the surge in cases among youngsters over the age of 12, Theodoridou also went on to urge parents to get their children vaccinated, especially in light of the start of the school year. She stressed that vaccination shields children from contracting Covid-19, ensures that they can engage in activities with their peers safely, protects vulnerable members of their households and society at large from infection, and also helps prevent the formation of new virus mutations.

Theodoridou also encouraged pregnant women to protect themselves and their babies by getting vaccinated, pointing to an abundance of evidence of the vaccines’ safety.

For his part, Themistokleous said that 5.78 million people had completed the Covid-19 vaccinations by Monday afternoon, meaning that 55% of the Greek population as a whole and 64.2% of its adult population is protected – still below the European Union average achieved last week of 70%.