ATHENS, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) — Seven in ten Greeks are willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to opinion polls, as vaccination of the elderly above 85 years old started this weekend in Greece, after that of health professionals and residents of elderly care homes in recent weeks.
Some 70.1 percent and 74 percent of respondents in two surveys conducted for Alpha TV and Political newspaper, respectively, said they will register to get vaccinated.
On Dec. 27, Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, an elderly man and a nurse were among the first to receive symbolically a dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Greece.
Doctors, nurses and some 20,000 residents of about 300 elderly care units nationwide followed.
So far over 80,000 people have been vaccinated in Greece in the mass vaccination program, according to data released by the government on Saturday evening.
The vaccination is free for all. The inoculation of the general public will begin after all vulnerable groups are vaccinated.
As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in Greece and some other countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.
Meanwhile, 237 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide — 64 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Jan. 15.
Greece has been in a nationwide lockdown since Nov. 7 in order to face the second wave of the pandemic. As the epidemiological data improved in the past two weeks, pupils of primary schools and kindergartens went back to the classroom on Jan. 11 and the retail sector will reopen on Jan. 18.
On Sunday evening, the Greek National Public Health Organization announced 237 new infections and 28 deaths in the last 24 hours. Since the start of the pandemic, the confirmed cases in Greece total 148,607 and the total of deaths so far is 5,469. Enditem