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Update – 14/04/2021

As of the latest update by the Greek authorities, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece is 301,103. 93 new deaths were reported raising the total number to 9,054. The number of patients treated in intensive care units is currently 802. 4,033 new cases were announced yesterday in Greece. 1,812 of the new cases were found in the Attica region and 554 new cases in the Thessaloniki region.

US federal health agencies on Tuesday recommended pausing use of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine for at least a few days after six women under age 50 developed rare blood clots after receiving the shot, dealing a fresh setback to efforts to tackle the pandemic. Johnson & Johnson said it would delay rollout of the vaccine to Europe, a week after regulators there said they were reviewing rare blood clots in four recipients of the shot in the United States. South Africa also suspended use of J&J’s vaccine.

Acting US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Janet Woodcock said the agency expected the pause to be a matter of days, and was aimed at providing information to healthcare providers on how to diagnose and treat the clots. The moves come after European regulators said earlier this month they had found a possible link between AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine and a similar rare blood clotting problem that led to a small number of deaths.

FDA official Peter Marks said it was “plainly obvious” the J&J cases were “very similar” to the AstraZeneca ones. He said there had been no similar blood clot cases reported among recipients of the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, which use a different technology and accounted for the vast majority of US vaccinations so far.

But J&J’s single-dose shot and AstraZeneca’s low-cost vaccine are seen as vital weapons in the fight against a pandemic that has claimed more than three million lives. Immunology experts echoed US officials in underscoring that the risk posed by the J&J vaccine appeared extremely low. “Even if causally linked to the vaccine: 6 cases with about 7 million doses … is not something to panic about,” Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore, said in an email, noting that the risk appears lower than that of clots from oral contraceptives.

He expressed concern that the pause could increase hesitancy to get vaccinated.

The FDA said there had been one reported death from the rare blood clotting condition among recipients of the J&J vaccine, while another person was in a critical condition. The White House said appointments to receive the J&J shot were being rescheduled across the country to the other two authorized vaccines, and that there was enough supply of Pfizer and Moderna shots to hit President Joe Biden’s goal of administering 200 million shots during his first 100 days in office. “There’s enough vaccine – that is basically 100% unquestionable – for every single, solitary American,” Biden told reporters.

Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said Greece is aiming for more than 4 million vaccinations by the end of May, while predicting that the country will hit 6 million vaccinations by the end of June. “[Authorities] are making a huge effort,” he said during a visit at a new vaccination center in Patra in the northern Peloponnese.

He said Greece has so far administered 2,252,569 doses.

Greece’s general secretary for primary healthcare indicated on Tuesday that the vaccination platform will be ready to open to people in their 40s in May as the country expects a significant increase in vaccine deliveries over the next two months. Speaking on Skai TV, Marios Themistokleous confirmed that the first batch of 33,600 single-dose vaccines from Johnson & Johnson is expected on Wednesday and will be rolled out starting on Monday. This will be followed by an additional 300,000 doses in May and another 960,000 or so the month after that.

Greece is also expecting a big boost from Pfizer over the next three months, with some 1 million doses coming in April and reaching more than 1.7 million in June.

Moderna has the smallest number of deliveries, with between 100,000 and 150,000 scheduled for early May.

Themistokleous admitted that recent reports about the link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a rare type of blood clot has created “some turbulence” in Greece’s vaccination program, but added that “turnout nevertheless remains very high compared to other countries.”

In terms of overall take-up, the official said that the lowest rate (50%) is among people aged 60-64 and the highest (75%) in the 75-79 year-old group. “The group of 85 and above was also hesitant at first with a rate of 50%, but that has now reached 65%,” Themistokelous said, appealing to the public to get vaccinated.

The vaccination window for people aged 55-59 on the government’s website is expected to open on April 21 and for the 50-54 age group on April 23.

Some 800,000 high-risk individuals with underlying health problems like diabetes can start registering for their vaccines on Friday, with the category being expanded as of April 19 to include more medical conditions, Themistokelous said.

“They will all have received the first dose by mid-May,” he said.

In more detail, the 4,033 new cases detected per Regional Unit:

  • Attica 1,812
    • Eastern Attica 132
    • Northern Sector of Athens 210
    • West Attica 172
    • Western Sector of Athens 219
    • Central Sector of Athens 559
    • Southern Sector of Athens 154
    • Islands 19
    • Piraeus 287
  • Thessaloniki 554
  • Etoloakarnania 26
  • Argolida 30
  • Arcadia 25
  • Arta 5
  • Achaia 95
  • Boeotia 44
  • Grevena 11
  • Drama 18
  • Evros 34
  • Evia 51
  • Evritania 6
  • Zakynthos 12
  • Ilia 31
  • Imathia 17
  • Heraklion 93
  • Thassos 7
  • Thesprotia 2
  • Thira 2
  • Ioannina 31
  • Kavala 53
  • Kalymnos 15
  • Karditsa 26
  • Karpathos 4
  • Kastoria 25
  • Corfu 11
  • Kefalonia 1
  • Kilkis 47
  • Kozani 112
  • Corinth 41
  • Kos 11
  • Laconia 11
  • Larissa 139
  • Lasithi 18
  • Lesvos 7
  • Lemnos 3
  • Magnesia 66
  • Messinia 12
  • Milos 2
  • Naxos 1
  • Xanthi 21
  • Pella 78
  • Pieria 22
  • Preveza 2
  • Rethymno 36
  • Rodopi 23
  • Rhodes 8
  • Samos 7
  • Serres 60
  • Tinos 2
  • Trikala 10
  • Fthiotida 18
  • Florina 2
  • Fokida 9
  • Chalkidiki 26
  • Chania 23
  • Chios 10
  • Mount Athos
  • Under investigation 145

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