The Greek government has decided to offer a third dose of a vaccine against Covid-19 to people aged over 60 and health workers. Τhe booster shot in Greece will be following a recommendation of the National Vaccination Committee and will not be compulsory.
10,000 people in the country have received the booster shot since the health authorities opened the online platform for appointment initially for immune-compromised and other high risk groups such as over 80 years old on September 14.
Speaking to state-run news agency amna, member of the government’s health experts’ committee and National Vaccination Committee, Vana Papaevangelou, said the recommendation is based on latest scientific evidence showing that a booster shot is needed to bolster immunity in these groups.
There was also a necessity for a third dose for those over 60, she added, since the data showed that the intensity of the immune response was affected by age.
“We have announced that those over 60 will need a third dose of the vaccine because laboratory studies and epidemiological figures show that the older a person is and the greater the period that has elapsed since their second dose – at least six months – the higher the chances that they will be infected with the virus,” she said.
She added that the chances of serious illness and deaths were low.
The third dose is offered six to eight months after the first round of vaccination is completed and will be an mRNA vaccine Pfizer or Moderna.
An exception is made for the immune-suppressed, who can get a third dose four weeks after the completion of their second dose, amna reported.
Official announcements are expected early Monday evening at the weekly live briefing by the Greek National Vaccination Committee.
The US FDA has rejected, so far, booster shot for the general population, while the European EMA has not decided yet.