8,400 deaths averted thanks to vaccines, Tsiodras says

“Since the vaccination began at the end of December last year, Greece has avoided 8,400 coronavirus-related deaths of its citizens,” Sotiris Tsiodras, professor of infectious diseases and leading epidemiologist of the country, said on live television to persuade people to get vaccinated.

He added that, according to the analysis models, about 5,560 intensive care unit (ICU) hospitalizations have been prevented thanks to the Covid-19 vaccine. Tsiodras stressed that by mid-July there would have been 1,200 fewer deaths if 95% of the population had been vaccinated, and noted that the death rate among those vaccinated had dropped by 91%. Regarding vaccine efficacy rates for serious illness and death, despite the emergence of Delta option, according to the epidemiologist, their effectiveness remains high. “Before the advent of the Delta variant, vaccine efficacy ranged from 92% to 98%, and after Deltas – from 71% to 96%, which means that the vaccines remained effective in the period after its introduction, ”said Tsiodras. He added that “efficacy also remained high for those requiring treatment in the intensive care unit during this period, ranging from 91% to 98%.

Addressing skeptics, he said that “the idea that vaccines don’t work is simply wrong.” He stressed that vaccines are very effective against serious diseases for all ages: “They reduce the danger not only for the elderly, but also for young people.”

The scientist predicted that the coming winter will be difficult in terms of a pandemic. Greece has seen a new surge in daily coronavirus infections in the past few days and a serious slowdown in the vaccination program.

Greece’s coronavirus map, updated Wednesday, placed more regional units, including islands, at high risk. The situation is particularly difficult in northern Greece: hospitals are under enormous pressure and are reporting that intubated coronavirus patients are being treated outside intensive care units.

There will be no general lockdown

Thanos Pleuris assured on Wednesday that no Covid patient would be left without any medical care, adding that private hospitals could join the national health system in providing treatment for Covid cases.

In an interview with the state news agency Amna, Minister of Health Thanos Pleuris ruled out new general isolation, as during other waves of the pandemic in the country, stressing that the decision not to accept scientists is a government decision.

“We will consult with scientists, taking into account their recommendations, but I am not a minister who will hide behind scientists. Decisions at the end of the day are signed by the minister and the government. Scientists recommend. If we get to the point where their recommendations differ from our philosophy and policies, we will obviously discuss these things. If there is an opposite approach, we will revisit it based on the data from that time, ”added Pleuris.

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