A fourth dose of a vaccine against COVID-19 will likely be necessary, especially for vulnerable groups, Greece’s Health Minister Thanos Plevris said on Monday.
Speaking on SKAI television, he said that the government and his counterparts in Europe envisaged something along the lines of the seasonal flu shot without having to repeatedly invite the population to get vaccinated.
“I consider it a given that there will be an issue of vaccinating the population, especially the vulnerable population, as we approach the months of autumn,” he said.
He also noted a decision by all European Union countries to defer deliveries originally planned for the summer until September because the pharmaceutical companies consider that “at that time…we will have a vaccine that is much more effective against Omicron.”
Whether this vaccination will be universal or target specific groups, he added, was a decision that would be made by the appropriate scientific bodies.
COVID-19 pandemic in Greece “not over”
The health minister concluded by stressing that the pandemic was not over: “…what is happening throughout Europe is that the pandemic is subsiding…but everyone tells us, all the scientists here in Greece and abroad and the ECDC, that we must be very careful because even under these conditions, in other words with the Omicron variant and with the process remaining the same, we will definitely come under pressure in the autumn.”
Regarding the wearing of masks aboard ships, Plevris said that this will be discussed by the scientists’ committee when it meets this week, taking into account the decision to abolish a requirement to wear masks on aircraft, as they are equipped with special filters.
“Where we have numbered seats and can control the number of people that enter, it may be possible to simply recommend wearing masks. On urban public transport, however, where there are no such seats and more numbers of people may enter, a mask remains mandatory,” it was said.
Greece reported 2,575 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday
Greece confirmed 2,575 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, the National Public Health Organization (EODY) said on Sunday, bringing all confirmed infections since the pandemic began to 3,445,538.
There have also been sixteen deaths recorded in the last 24 hours, bringing the total of pandemic victims to 29,803. Of these, 95.6 percent had an underlying condition and/or were aged seventy or over.
A total of 132 patients are on ventilators in hospitals. Their median age is 72 years and 93.2 percent have an underlying condition and/or are aged seventy or over.
Of the total, 63 are unvaccinated or partly vaccinated and 69 are fully vaccinated.