Pediatricians in public and private health sectors will begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine to children aged 12 to 17 from their practice.
The Greek government announced the decision following an online cabinet meeting at Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ office on Tuesday.
“We’re a week before the opening of [public] schools and I believe this is the perfect time to launch a great new effort to increase the vaccination rate among minors,” Mitsotakis says.
He added that “no scientific discovery has extended the human lifespan like the vaccine”.
President of Greece’s vaccination committee, Maria Theodoridou, says the support of pediatricians is “crucial”.
“Because pediatricians often play the role of family doctor for many Greek families, they will be asked whether children should be vaccinated or not, so their support is crucial,” she says.
Sotiris Tsiodras is an infectious disease expert advising the government on its COVID-19 policy and says children in the age bracket can play “a catalytic role in controlling the pandemic”.
“The high transmissibility of the Delta variant also concerns our children, which is why it is so important that measures for preventing the spread of the virus are upheld at schools,” he says.