Teenagers aged from 15 to 17 will be able to set appointments for vaccination as of next week, said Health Secretary General Marios Themistocleous during Monday’s regular live briefing of health experts.
Details on how these appointments can be booked and how parents can provide their consent will be made available on Monday July 12, Themistocleous, a doctor by training, said.
Meanwhile, the inoculation of people in remote areas at the island of Crete begins on Tuesday, he added.
A 38.2 pct of Greece’s population has completed their coronavirus vaccination, while a 47.7 pct has been inoculated with at least one dose, noted the health official.
Teen vaccination benefits
Citing backup data for the National Vacinnation Committee’s go-ahead for teenagers’ vaccination, its chair Maria Theodoridou said at the briefing that although the rate of infection for ages 12-17 is only 14.1 pct in the general population, teenagers with underlying conditions are in danger. In January-March 2021, for example, of 204 teenagers hospitalized with Covid-19, 70.6 pct had an underlying condition, 31.4 pct was admitted to an ICU, and 5 pct needed to go on ventilator. There were no deaths.
Underlying conditions range between obesity (35 pct of all cases in the above quarter), chronic pulmonary disorders, including asthma, (31 pct), to neuromuscular or neurological problems (14 pct). Younger people were also subject to a rare and serious disorder called multisystem inflammatory condition that appears related to Covid-19 infection.
Vaccination would offer protection to children with underlying medical issues, she underlined, but will also help protect adults who have yet to be vaccinated. The vaccines that will be used to inoculate teenagers are of the mRNA type, which have a higher effectiveness rate than that of adults, and approach 100 pct immunity.
In terms of adults, she warned that people who have done only one of two doses of a vaccine are protected only by 33 pct against hospitalization.