Vaccination of children aged 5-11 begins on December 15

Alejandra Gerardo, 9, is held by her mother as she gets the second dose of the Pfizer coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine during a clinical trial for children at Duke Health in Durham, North Carolina, U.S., April 12, 2021. Picture taken April 12, 2021. Shawn Rocco/Duke Health/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

The coronavirus vaccination of children aged 5-11 will begin on December 15, Secretary General for Primary Health Care Marios Themistocleous announced on Monday at a regular live briefing.

Online appointments for this age group will become available on Friday (Dec. 10), and the first batch of vaccines for children will be received on December 13, he added.

In general, 73.2 pct of adults in Greece have completed inoculation (single-shot or double-shot vaccines), while 650,000 booster-shot appointments have been booked so far, added the health official. That compares with an average of 77.4 pct of adults fully vaccinated on average in the European Union, he noted.

Also speaking at the briefing, Head of the National Vaccination Committee Maria Theodoridou rejected the view that vaccination effectiveness is lost after three months, and said that the most recent studies show that the booster shot increases the level of neutralizing (or cell defender) antibodies by 20 times.

Last week the committee approved the administration of the third (booster) dose of Covid-19 vaccines after a lapse of only three months, instead of six, after completion of vaccination in adults.