More than five million coronavirus vaccines have been given to people living in Greece. As the small nation passed the huge milestone on Tuesday, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis proudly tweeted about the country’s successful vaccination campaign.
Five million vaccines administered in Greece
On Monday, May 24, the five millionth vaccine was administered in Greece as part of its “Freedom” vaccination program.
Although this does not mean that five million individuals in Greece have been fully inoculated, as that requires two doses of the mRNA vaccines, the country can proudly claim to have successfully administered five million coronavirus vaccines.
Mitsotakis celebrated the “Freedom” project and its success by tweeting about the topic on Tuesday. His tweet is shown below translated into English.
“Yesterday, Greece broke the barrier of 5,000,000 vaccinations. A total of 3,280,000 citizens have received at least one dose of the vaccine and, of these, 1,810,000 are fully vaccinated. We continue at a fast pace towards our goal: Freedom!”
Also on Monday, the Secretary General for the Ministry of Health, Marios Themistocleous, shared a more analytical view of inoculation in the country thus far. He announced that of the five million vaccines that have been administered in Greece, two million were from Pfizer/BioNTech, 740,000 were from AstraZeneca, 307,000 were from Moderna, and just 80,000 were from the recently re-approved vaccine manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.
Themistocleous also discussed the success of the Greek island vaccination campaign thus far, as Greece decided to prioritize fully vaccinating islands in order to bolster the summer tourism season. According to Themistocleous, 30 percent of all Greek island residents, regardless of age, have received at least one vaccine, with 20 percent of island residents now fully inoculated.
He also highlighted that the island vaccination campaigns are picking up speed. The percentage of fully-inoculated individuals on Santorini increased from 11 percent to 25 percent and almost doubled from 12 percent to 23 percent on Syros since Project Freedom turned its sights on the islands.
The most recent figures show that as of this week, Greece has administered 5,010,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine. This means that of Greece’s population, regardless of age, almost 17 percent of people are now fully vaccinated.
Can Greece’s vaccination campaign compare to the rest of Europe?
Greece has been criticized for having one of the slowest vaccination roll outs in Europe. But official data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDP) provide a more encouraging picture.
Greek Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis was grilled on the BBC recently about the country’s preparedness to open to travelers. The “Hard Talk” journalist insisted that Greece is vaccinating citizens at the slowest pace in Europe. This, however, appears to be only partly true, according to the latest report by the EU agency published on May 9.
The report says that only 27.6% adults 18 years and above in Greece were either registered to receive or had received at least one vaccine dose.
This places Greece among the bottom five of EU countries in terms of vaccination rollouts. Only Croatia (26%), Romania (23.2%), Latvia (19.9%) and Bulgaria (11.2%) are in a worse situation than Greece according to this metric.
The tiny Mediterranean nation of Malta tops the league of European nations with the fastest vaccination roll out in Europe.
According to the same data from May 9, Greece does better in the category of the number of fully vaccinated people among adults in Europe, however. As of that date, 13.7% of Greeks had had both doses of the vaccine.
This is higher than the number of fully-vaccinated people compared to many countries in Europe with similar populations, such as Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Norway, the Netherlands and Finland.
The percentage of fully-vaccinated people in Greece is even higher than Germany, where only 11.3% of the adult population has been fully vaccinated at this point.