Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis sent a clear and resounding message to deniers of COVID-19 vaccines during his press statements at the Thessaloniki International Fair.
Expressing his absolute conviction that the vaccine would be safe, he added that if needed for symbolic reasons, he would be the first to make the vaccine “with joy,” as would his family. He added that Greece is in all the vaccine pre-purchase contracts, which will be available free of charge to the citizens.
In particular, the Prime Minister spoke about “vaccines” in a plural number, announcing that Greece is in all pre-purchase contracts. The vaccine will be available free of charge, said Mitsotakis once again, noting, however, that “our problem will be to persuade the Greeks to be vaccinated.”
“I am absolutely convinced that the vaccine will be safe, absolutely safe,” said Mitsotakis, asking for public information about the need for all of us to be vaccinated, stating that he and his family will be the first to get the vaccine.
“The vaccine is above all safe and necessary,” he said, noting that vaccine deniers are a problem, a situation he said is not new.
Mitsotakis stated that “I am optimistic that we will have more than one vaccine, which will be safe. Greece is in all the pre-purchase contracts. I said it would be free. Our problem will be to persuade the Greeks to be vaccinated. If for reasons of symbolism I and my family have to be vaccinated first, I will do it with great pleasure.”
“I am moderately optimistic about the timing for the vaccine and I say it is about six months ahead of us, but it is not ruled out that there may be delays. It will take a lot of effort to convince people that the vaccine is safe and effective. I believe that we will win the battle against the anti-vaccination movement.”
“It is very important that schools open on time,” continued the Prime Minister. “Schools will open tomorrow and everything will be ready.”
He pointed out that Greece is the only country that distributes masks for free.
“I want to make an appeal to everyone, the reason we insist on using the mask is because the experts pointed it out to us. I know that the mask is uncomfortable and that it is not pleasant to wear it all day. But this is what the experts tell us and I will ask everyone to comply with these instructions,” he said.
Regarding the size of the classrooms, “it was practically impossible to create so many additional classrooms in a few months, so that we could divide the children into smaller groups,” citing social problems for extending school hours. It is a given that there will be some cases somewhere,” Mitsotakis said.
In Lesvos and Pella, schools will not open immediately as they are epidemiologically overwhelmed, the Prime Minister said, adding that Greece is well above the European average.
At the same time, Mitsotakis sent a message to those who question the existence of the virus.
“I have a responsibility as Prime Minister of the country to repel all conspiracy theories with both regulatory measures and persuasion,” he said.
For the second wave of coronavirus, Mitsotakis argued that Greece has done better than in the first wave, “as we have more doctors and tests and we understand the disease much better.”
Greece to date has had 13,036 confirmed cases resulting in 302 deaths. The first known case of COVID-19 was in Thessaloniki on February 26. Greek authorities began dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic immediately by closing down carnivals that were going to occur in Thessaloniki.