In a press conference on Monday, Maria Theodoridou, president of Greece’s National Vaccinations Committee, announced that the country would receive over 1.2 million doses of the Pfizer Covid vaccine by the end of March.
The first inoculations in the country will begin with healthcare workers in five hospitals in Athens and Thessaloniki on December 27, the day after the first shipment of 9,000 doses will arrive in Greece.
The doses of the precious vaccine will be stored in special refrigerators, which arrived in Greece on Sunday. The Pfizer shot must be kept at the frigid temperature of -70 degrees Celsius, or -94 degrees Fahrenheit, in order to be effective.
Individuals aged over 85 and those living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities will be next in line for the long-awaited shot.
By the end of January, Greece will have received 429,000 doses of the inoculation, and by the end of March, an astounding 1,265,550 doses will have been distributed in the country.
These figures only refer to the EU-approved Pfizer vaccine, and could change as other vaccines are accepted by the European Medicines Agency.
Pfizer released late-stage trial data which proved that its vaccine is 95% effective at preventing coronavirus infection.
Experts on the European Medicines Agency’s human medicines committee concluded on Monday afternoon that the Pfizer vaccine was indeed safe and effective for people 16 years of age and older, according to the data which is now available.
According to Prime Minister Mitsotakis, skepticism amongst the population regarding the safety of the shot is Greece’s largest hurdle in the campaign to vaccinate a significant portion of the Greek populace.
Theodoridou stated Monday that vaccines have arguably had “the most significant impact on humanity’s health and quality of life,” noting that they save millions of lives worldwide each year.
Although the vaccine’s arrival is imminent, Theodoridou noted that the shot will not end the pandemic immediately: “The problem is not finished the moment we get vaccinated. We will continue to wear masks and keep social distancing. Yes to optimism, no to complacency.”