Greece begins vaccinating refugees in its camps. Until now, despite the good rhythm of the country, Athens had decided not to do it because “it was not a priority”. As of May 30, the Greek Government will vaccinate its entire population without age restrictions.
Greece has confirmed that the country has started vaccinating refugee camps , both on the mainland and on the islands, four months after the vaccination campaign against covid began in the Hellenic country.
A few months ago, the Greek Migration Minister, Notis Matarakis , already announced that the vaccination of refugees and migrants was not a priority and that it would go after other vulnerable groups and that, therefore, asylum seekers, regardless of whether they have problems health, they should wait.
“The data shows that in the camps we are not seeing as many deaths or that the covid escapes too much,” Matarakis said in March, while confirming that refugees should wait their turn.
However, many Greek health organizations and NGOs consider that asylum seekers, who in Greece are crammed into unsanitary camps from which they hardly get permission to leave, with almost no running water or electricity, should be considered at risk because they cannot maintain social distance or be easily disinfected or cleaned.
Currently, there are 120,000 migrants and refugees in Greece, the majority of whom are in the camps, waiting for long months and years to be sent or relocated to another European country. Athens, however, is pushing to deport them back to their countries of origin . Sometimes legally andothers not so much .
And while the inhabitants of the fields wait, the vaccination in the Hellenic country, as in all Europe, goes like a shot. 31 people out of 100 have received a dose – in Spain the figure is 38 out of 100 – and the Greek government has announced that as of May 30, the age restrictions for vaccination will be lifted.
In addition, the pandemic is also slowing down in Greece, as in all of Europe, and the eastern Mediterranean country hopes to open its doors wide so that tourists arrive en masse this summer. In fact, Greece is putting pressure on Brussels to include non-European citizens who have been vaccinated with any vaccine, regardless of whether it is recognized by the European Medicines Agency, within the vaccination passports .
But while cases are falling across the country, they are rising among asylum seekers: a coronavirus outbreak was declared this Thursday in the Kara Tepe refugee camp on Lesbos . 30 people tested positive Thursday, and 100 have been quarantined.