Vaccinations for 30-39 age group to start April 27 with the reserves of AstraZeneca

The platform for vaccination appointments for the 30-39 age group will open on April 27, ahead of schedule, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias said on Wednesday.

The appointments platform will open on Greek Orthodox Holy Tuesday to allow these younger people to be inoculated with the reserves of AstraZeneca vaccines, the minister said during the regular live briefing on the pandemic.

“They will sign up one day and be vaccinated the next,” Kikilias explained, adding that if there is high demand, vaccinations could be administered by private sector health centers and clinics in May.

Kikilias said that the vaccination appointments will be extended “to late evening appointments and over the weekends,” while he added that inoculations will take place up to Holy Saturday/Labor Day (May 1). They will not be carried out from May 2 (Greek Orthodox Easter) to May 4, he noted, which will not affect the rollout.

Responding to questions, he said that doctors requisitioned from the private sector are needed for at least another 20 days, and he reiterated the schedule of Easter services that have been scheduled to take place at an earlier time.

Asked to comment if visitors arriving as of May 15, when the country reopens to tourism, will be able to travel freely through several regions of Greece, he said they would have to observe restrictions imposed on Greeks that are in effect at the time. (In his live address earlier, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had said that the ban on travelling to other cities and prefectures would be lifted for the entire population on May 15.)

More mental health professionals hired

A total of 92 mental health professionals were hired during the first quarter of 2021 to support Covid-19 patients, their families and medical staff, Deputy Health Minister Zoi Rapti said at the briefing.

She said they had been connected to 450 health centers and had helped 1,142 people in the first three months.

Speaking of the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic on adults, children and health care professionals, Rapti said that the ministry had implemented additional measures to support them emotionally. Particular attention was paid to people with psychiatric problems in day-care and housing facilities.

In addition, the ministry is working with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and the Child Mind Institute in the United States on developing a five-year plan to support the emotional health of children and teenagers in remote areas of Greece. SNF will cover the entire cost (10.8 million euros) and will include training for mental health professionals and help to families, the minister noted.

Inoculation percentages of specific age groups

At least 440,000 people have received the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in Greece so far, said Health Secretary General for Primary Health Care Marios Themistocleous at the briefing.

Teachers and citizens aged 55-59 started booking their appointments on Wednesday, noted the official, while those aged 50-54 can do so as of Saturday (April 24).

Themistocleous also gave the rate of vaccinations of specific age groups who have received at least one dose of a vaccine:

– 85 and older: 61 pct

– 80 to 84: 61 pct

– 75 to 79: 68 pct

– 70 to 74: 50 pct

– 65 to 69: 27 pct

Greece has vaccinated a total of 2,645,000 people as of yesterday.