Theodoridou: Unvaccinated will be most vulnerable to new wave of pandemic

“There is widespread muted optimism that we are in a new phase of the coronavirus pandemic after the announcement of the easing of measures, but vaccination cannot be stopped,” said Maria Theodoridou, president of the National Vaccination Committee.

Ms Theodoridou noted that the unvaccinated would be the most vulnerable group. “If the unvaccinated think that the problem can be solved without their participation, it is not so. This will be the weakest link, since, according to epidemiologists, the reappearance of a new wave is not ruled out, ”she said.

Regarding the Novavax protein vaccine, she said the drug is for the base dose, while Sanofi and GSK have been tested for use as a booster dose.

Ms Theodoridou noted that a month ago the National Vaccination Committee recommended that the 4th dose be given to immunocompromised adults within three months of the third dose. She recalled that for children and adolescents 5-17 years of age in the immunosuppressive categories, a third dose was approved and administered four weeks after the second vaccination, while noting that the commission was evaluating cases and would recommend a fourth dose if necessary.

She reiterated that knowledge about the use of vaccines is constantly growing internationally and that neutralizing antibodies appear to decrease over time, both after illness and after vaccination. But she explained that hybrid immunity, that is, enhanced immunity, is important after illness and vaccination, regardless of what preceded them. She also explained that vaccines continue to protect us, even if the test results show that you have few antibodies.

At a time when all countries are entering a phase of easing measures, there are more and more messages about the need to increase vaccination around the world. The goal of WHO, as emphasized by Ms Theodoridou, is to vaccinate 70% of the world’s population by the end of summer.

20 million vaccinations

For his part, Primary Health Care Secretary-General Marios Themistocleous said Greece had crossed the “barrier” of 20 million vaccinations in the country. As he stressed, “20 million vaccinations were made in our country to 7,837,000 citizens who received at least the first dose, which corresponds to 74.6% of the total population and 84.3% of the adult population.” He added that “the respective European averages are 74.9% and 85.4%.”

At the same time, he stressed that more than 7,500,000 citizens were vaccinated, which corresponds to 71.3% of the general population and 80.3% of the adult population. Mr. Themistocleous clarified that the corresponding European averages are 71.4% and 82.5%.

The Secretary General of Primary Health Care noted that 5,828,000 people were revaccinated, of which 5,260,000 (90.2%) were vaccinated and another 100,000 (1.6% of recipients) made an appointment. In addition, he reported that of those who have passed the seven-month period and need to be vaccinated, only 4.3% are not vaccinated.

About 300,000 citizens over the age of 60 remain unvaccinated and will be fined and new appointments will decrease, about 1,000 a day, Mr Themistocleous said. According to him, there is no information on the date of receipt of the Novavax vaccine yet, so the vaccination site is not open.

Answering the question whether there will be vaccinations against COVID-19 carried out in pharmacies, Mr Themistocleous said that “the various conditions that would allow vaccination in pharmacies have not changed. “We have proven that we can achieve 150,000 vaccinations with the program we have now.”

Official EODY data for February 21

Greek health authorities announced on Sunday 18,094 coronavirus cases and 88 Covid-related deaths in the last 24 hours. The number of intubated Covid patients in hospitals across the country fell again to 460 from 471 the day before.

Made by PCR: 8085, Rapid: 114,674

Positive PCR + RAPID tests: 14.74%

Greece has 2,317,014 confirmed cases of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic (daily change: +0.8%). Of the confirmed cases in the last 7 days, 288 cases are related to travel from abroad and 2024 to other confirmed cases.

RT: 0.90

Moving Average: 17,756 of 17,924 last week.

The 88 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours and 2 deaths in the previous days, included in today’s EODY data, bring the total toll of the pandemic to 25,417. Of these, 95% had an underlying disease and/or were 70 years of age or older.

There are 460 patients on ventilators in hospitals. Their median age is 67 years, 64.3% are male, and 87.4% have an underlying disease and/or are 70 years of age or older.

Of the total intubated, 339 (73.7%) were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, and 121 (26.3%) were fully vaccinated.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 4,217 people have been discharged from intensive care units.

301 Covid-19 patients hospitalized in the last 24 hours (daily change: -8.51%). The average daily hospitalization of patients with Covid-19 over the past 7 days was 361 people.

The average age of new infections is 35 years (0.2 to 106 years) and the average age of deaths is 79 years (0.2 to 106 years).

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