Greece begins administering Covid-19 vaccines outside churches

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Vaccine, Covid-19, France

Greece has begun administering vaccinations for Covid-19 outside churches as a way of encouraging more people to get the jabs.

Mobile National Health Organisation units began administering the vaccine in a church yard in Archanes, a town near the city of Heraklion on the southern island of Crete.

The single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine, also known as Janssen, was being used.

Fifty-two appointments were booked for the first day, but some people were turning up without appointments and were being given the vaccines.

The government announced the programme last month, with mobile health care units to administer vaccines in town squares outside churches, initially in Crete and later expanding to the country’s main cities.

Authorities have been seeking to boost Greece’s vaccination drive with a series of incentives.

Vaccination against Covid-19 has been made compulsory for health care workers in the private and public sector.

Certain entertainment venues such as indoor restaurants and bars will be accessible only to those who have a certificate of vaccination or recent recovery from the disease.

The vaccine is freely available in Greece to anyone with a social security number over the age of 12.

More than 5.7 million people have been fully vaccinated so far in a country of around 11 million people.

According to official health department figures, 90% of the 381 coronavirus 19 patients intubated in intensive care are unvaccinated.

The country has had nearly 600,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 13,800 deaths.

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