Pfizer CEO, Albert Bourla, receives top Greek honour for his work developing COVID vaccine

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Pfizer CEO, Albert Bourla, received Greece’s highest civilian honour on Tuesday for his efforts in developing a COVID-19 vaccine that has saved millions of lives in Greece and internationally.

Bourla was awarded the medal of the Golden Cross of the Order of the Redeemer by Greek President, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, at a ceremony at the presidential mansion in Athens.

The Order of the Redeemer is the most important Greek Order and is awarded to Greek citizens who have distinguished themselves in defending the interests of their country or have provided exceptional social services in Greece or abroad. 

READ MORE: Pfizer’s Greek CEO, Albert Bourla, wins $1 million Genesis Prize for vaccine development.

Albert Bourla was among other Greeks awarded by Sakellaropoulou.

As she handed Bourla his honour, Sakellaropoulou hailed his actions during the COVID-19 pandemic and said he “gave humanity the space to face the pandemic.”

“His path is the chronicle of the victory of science in the field of health, for the benefit of the common good,” Sakellaropoulou said in her address about the Thessaloniki-born CEO.

“Hailing from a family of Holocaust survivors, he was able to realise his vision and apply scientific innovations that led to the discovery of the [COVID-19] vaccine, allowing the whole world to believe that the impossible was possible.”

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla attends a ceremony in the northern city of Thessaloniki, Greece, October 12, 2021. Photo: AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos, file.

READ MORE: Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla discusses journey to deliver COVID vaccine and investing in Greek youth.

Bourla responded that this distinction was “the most important” he has ever received as “it comes from the homeland and the Greek State.”

“I am very lucky to find myself in this position and be able to help,” he said.

Bourla has always shown a keen interest in Greece having already opened, among other things, two Pfizer research centres in Thessaloniki.

READ MORE: Pfizer CEO, Albert Bourla, says fourth COVID-19 vaccine will be needed.

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