The coronavirus vaccine will be free for all Greek citizens

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The state will ensure that the coronavirus vaccine is free for all Greek citizens, when available, while at the same time ensuring that there are free masks to all students and teachers, announced Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during today's regular meeting about the coronavirus.

"I want to be absolutely clear, the vaccine will be available free of charge to all Greek citizens. We do not yet know if it will be one or if there will be more. We do not know when we will have it at our disposal. We hope sooner rather than later. But whenever we have the vaccine at our disposal, it will be available free of charge, for all Greek citizens," stressed Mitsotakis in his introductory statement.

Referring to the issue of schools, he stressed: "All countries of the world are reopening their schools. This is the unanimous proposal of the Scientific Committee and with it the Greek government is drafted. The schools, obviously, will be opened taking into account all the provisions suggested to us by the experts in order to reduce to a minimum the spread of the virus."

"One of these provisions is the mandatory use of a mask in the classrooms for all children, starting from kindergarten and ending in the last grade of high school. The Greek government will undertake to provide free masks to all children and all teachers, so that in this way it can meet its minimum obligation to be able to provide children with the mask it requires for compulsory use in schools," Mitsotakis said.

The Prime Minister called on the political world as a whole to take a formal and responsible position regarding the central choices made by the government in consultation with experts, for the timely reopening of schools, the mandatory use of a mask and other measures aimed at protecting the public.

"What we do not need today is a cynical, aphoristic, destructive critique, which wrongs the effort made not only by the government but by the country as a whole to control this second wave of coronavirus spread. A nihilistic critique that often fuels conspiracy theories and scenarios that we must all reject responsibly and in the most absolute way," said the Prime Minister.

He also stressed that the government "always informs the citizens with absolute responsibility and absolute transparency" and assumes the responsibility of its policies, which at any time is ready to take corrective action in the midst of an unprecedented situation.

Mitsotakis requested during the meeting to be informed and discussed on Tuesday at a joint meeting of the Social and Educational Affairs Committees of the Parliament, with the presence of the Ministers of Health, Vassilis Kikilias, and Education, Nikis Kerameos, in order to present the data to be analyzed.

The Greek government will undertake to provide free masks to all children and all teachers, so that in this way it can meet its minimum obligation to be able to provide the children whose mask it requires for compulsory use in schools. The above announcements on how to distribute the masks will then be made by the co-responsible Ministers. The Municipalities will also be involved in this process and it will obviously be done with the overall supervision of the Ministry of Education.

"Beyond that, regarding the issue of the vaccine: The relevant announcements have been made by the Ministry of Health for the pre-purchase contracts that the Greek government has already concluded with one company - it is possible that more will follow. And as we have said, we hope that in the medium term the vaccine will be available in our country, so that as much of the Greek population as possible is vaccinated, in order to tackle the issue of the coronavirus epidemic in a good, catalytic way," he said.

"What the state will do, because obviously we will not have available doses from day one to cover the entire population, will be to determine with absolute clarity the order of priority with which our fellow citizens should be vaccinated, starting obviously by health professionals and high-risk groups. But the vaccine will be available for free to everyone," Mitsotakis explained.