Greek Health Minister Vasillis Kikilias outlined the government’s plan for the vaccination of the country’s population against the novel coronavirus, during the live briefing on the pandemic on Wednesday evening.
Speaking alongside the president of the National Vaccinations Committee, Maria Theodoridou, the Minister underscored that the coronavirus vaccine will be given free of charge to all citizens.
It will be distributed by the European Union, which has reached agreements for its supply with six pharmaceutical companies. The EU will also absorb part of the vaccine’s cost, so that EU countries can get it at a lower price, and at the same price that all EU member states are paying, he explained.
All EU countries will receive the vaccines at the same time and in the same dosages-to-population ratio, clarified Kikilias.
There will be 1,018 vaccination centers designated to serve some 2,117,440 citizens per month: health system workers will receive it first, followed by vulnerable groups and the general population.
Vaccinations for the general population will be carried out by appointment in the mornings and afternoons every day except Sundays. The vaccination process should not take more than 10 minutes per person.
If necessary, additional vaccination centers can be set up pending the arrival of more vaccines, he noted, “but the 2,117,440 citizens than can be vaccinated per month is already a large number.”
The vaccination needs of elderly people in nursing homes will be served by 65 mobile health units of the National Public Health Organization (EODY) and will take ten days to complete.
Refugees and migrants residing at the country’s 34 refugee accommodation centers, the six reception & identification centers and the eight pre-departure centers will be carried out by the medical staff of the EODY. Inmates in Greece’s 35 penitentiary facilities will receive their shots from local and regional health facilities.
Vaccination appointments can be booked by SMS (text) messaging, online, or via call centers. The Minister also thanked the Digital Governance Ministry for help on the digital infrastructure behind the vaccination appointment bookings system.
“I am convinced we can do this,” said the Minister, “to gradually start vaccinating our fellow citizens, so that we can build immunity and return to normalcy.”