Clarifications on the national vaccination plan was made by Deputy Minister of Civil Protection and Crisis Management, Nikos Hardalias.
He emphasized that when more vaccines are licensed, up to two million people can receive the COVID-19 vaccine per month.
Hardalias made a lengthy post on Facebook and explained what exactly the agreement with the European Commission for vaccines is, while giving details of vaccine plan.
Specifically, Hardalias mentions the following:
- Until yesterday (8.1.2021), 13 days from the start of vaccinations, and according to our data, Greece had vaccinated 0.33% (34,787 vaccines) of its population when the global average of vaccinations is at 0.23%. There are only 7 countries in the world that have exceeded 1%, of which only Denmark (1.76%) belongs to the EU.
- A total of 424,624 vaccines are scheduled to be delivered in January as part of an agreement reached with the licensed vaccine manufacturers (Pfizer and Moderna). This number is available, according to the instructions of the National Vaccination Committee, to the health staff of public-private hospitals and private doctors, to guests and employees in care facilities for the elderly and chronically ill, and to the elderly that are over 85 years old.
- No, the possibility of vaccinations will not remain at 8,000 per day throughout 2021, as various bona fide (or not) assumed or feared. We started with a few hundred vaccinations a day in the first week, we went up to 5,000+ on 4/1, yesterday we exceeded 8,000 and from 20/1 when the vaccination centers begin, we will reach 17,500 vaccines per day for the remainder of January with the aim of depleting most of the available vaccines in the first month.
- Vaccination lines are developed gradually and not all together because they are related: A) to the available number of vaccines we have received, B) the needed vaccination personnel using digital tools and registration procedures applied for the first time; and (C) careful testing of a highly complex vaccine vial supply chain under very strict storage, refrigeration and transport specifications from all five hubs throughout Greece.
- The significant uncertainty that still exists around the pharmaceutical industry's production capacity to produce and supply each country with the necessary quantities on the basis of the contractual commitments undertaken, forces us to take conservative steps at the moment. For example, at this stage it would be at least risky, if not irresponsible, for an alternative "single-dose" strategy to be implemented from the two-dose strategy currently being used. This is because the single-dose strategy would deplete - in the name of speed - very quickly the few stocks available, but it is not certain that we will receive in time the necessary quantities for the second dose, thus risking wasting the first dose for those who were vaccinated.
- Ultimately, one of the issues we are called upon to manage at this stage is the relationship between limited supply and increased demand. Even more mass vaccinations will be possible in our country when more vaccines are licensed so that we have more quantities of vials. And of course then, yes, we can get up to 2 million vaccinations a month. The presentation of the final plan for the development of vaccination centers should not be confused, however, with the current vaccination possibilities based on the available vaccines.