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Scandal in Thessaloniki: Prosecutor investigates off list vaccinations in children institutions

The public prosecutor of Thessaloniki, northern Greece, investigates complaints according to which children with special needs at two institutions in the city did not receive Covid-19 vaccinations; 24 people were inoculated instead, bypassing the priority list of the national program. The scandal touches also two elected officials at the Municipality of the city.

Those 24 adults, 12 in each facility, had no employment relation with the institutions. Local media information indicates, though, that these people have friendly relations with people working at the institutions and their ages start from 40-45 years.

It should be recalled that according to the national vaccination program currently to be vaccinated are next to health workers and closed structures personnel, elderly over 80 and the age group 60-64 that receives the Astrazeneca vaccine.

The names of the people who were irregularly vaccinated will be forwarded to the prosecutor investigating the case.

The complaints were made public on Friday and according to state-run news agency amna, refer to the public institutions for children with special needs, “Agios Dimitrios” and “Agios Panteleimon.” Both institutions belong to the Social Welfare Center of Central Macedonia.

The last date for vaccination there was on February 16.

Officials in charge of the Social Welfare Center said that people were vaccinated off list because there were no people available to dispose the vaccines they would be otherwise discarded. They said that doctors in the institutions and the National Health Organization EODY were responsible for the vaccinations.

However, the parents of children with disabilities said that their children vaccination was canceled.

One mother told TV channels on Friday morning that some had received message for vaccination appointment that was canceled without specified reason.

According to the president of the association for people in these institutions, children’s mothers had received a message on February 3 that the first vaccine dose was scheduled for Feb 16. On Feb 9th, they received a cancellation mail, due to the large number of vaccines scheduled for that day.

Political side-effects

The irregular vaccinations had also some side-effects for the Municipality of Thessaloniki as one of the elected members was reportedly inoculated off the list and another had members of his family receive the vaccine.

Mayor of Thessaloniki, Konstantinos Zervas has reportedly removed from her duties the deputy mayor of Education, after she refused to resign, local media reported. The woman, whose daughter works at one of the facilities as doctor, was inoculated off list. A second member of the City Council, the president of the MC, a pulmonologist at one of the two institutions had members of his family be irregularly vaccinated. the Mayor asked for the resignation of the council president.

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