Greece recorded 835 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, which marks 363 more instances of the virus than the 472 cases that had been recorded on Monday.
Just one of Tuesday’s total cases was identified during routine Covid-19 testing of tourists at the country’s borders.
Currently, there are 343 patients with the coronavirus on ventilators in Greece, which is ten fewer than the number of patients undergoing the invasive treatment in the country yesterday, Monday.
Tragically, 22 people suffering from the coronavirus passed away in the country over the past 24-hour period, which represents four more than those who died with the virus on Monday.
AstraZeneca vaccine paused for those under 60 in Greece
The AstraZeneca vaccine should not be given to those under sixty in Greece, the National Vaccination Committee announced on Monday.
The president of the committee, Maria Theodoridou, spoke after a meeting which was held to analyze the course of the vaccination campaign in Greece.
Currently, the vaccine is offered to those over 30; however newest guidelines outline that people wishing to become vaccinated with the AstraZeneca product should be over the age of 60.
Theodoridou stressed that those who have already had the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccination should get their second dose as well — regardless of age — in order to be considered fully inoculated. This is because the side effects are extremely rare following the second dose.
The only case in which people should take a different vaccine for their second dose is if they have experienced severe side effects from the first dose, she stated.
When asked about this recommendation, Theodoridou reiterated that “those who have taken the first dose will continue with the same vaccine for the second dose.”
She continued by stating that “those who want to change due to fear, should think very seriously about it,” as doctors will not recommend using a combination of vaccines unless there is a significant reason to do so.
However, for those under 60 who have booked a vaccination slot for their first dose of AstraZeneca but have not received it yet, it is recommended they replace that appointment with one using one of the other three available vaccines.
Theodoridou clarified that this recent decision by the National Vaccination Committee was based on epidemiological data, as Greece’s daily new coronavirus cases seem to be on the decline. Due to this new landscape, the benefit of having more vaccines available no longer outweighs the risks associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“The committee made this decision as there is an adequate amount of vaccines in Greece and the epidemiology of the country is good, as there is a steady decrease in cases,” Theodoridou pointed out.
She continued by noting that “vaccinations are proceeding very quickly, gradually building the wall of immunity,” adding that “recommendations can be updated with the latest data.”
397 cases of coronavirus diagnosed in Attica alone; 68 in Thessaloniki
Of the 835 new coronavirus cases recorded in Greece in the past 24 hours, 397 were located in Attica, home to the Greek capital city of Athens.
In the center of Athens, a total of 112 cases of Covid-19 were identified Tuesday.
Tests showed that in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, a total of 68 cases of Covid-19 had been diagnosed in the last 24 hours.
Over 400,000 total coronavirus cases in Greece
Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 416,195 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the country, including all those who have recovered from the virus.
Of the cases diagnosed in Greece in the past seven days, just 28 are associated with foreign travel and 1,102 have been linked to contact with a known case.
Of the 343 patients intubated currently, 87.2% are over the age of 70 or suffer from preexisting conditions. Their average age is 67.
On Tuesday alone, 98 people with the coronavirus were admitted to hospitals in Greece.
Additionally, a total of 2,573 patients have been discharged from ICUs around the country since the beginning of the pandemic.
The 22 new deaths recorded on Tuesday bring the total number of fatalities in the country to 12,465; 95.2% of those who have passed away with the virus were over the age of 70 or suffered from underlying health issues.