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8,400 deaths prevented due to vaccines, says Greece top epidemiologist Tsiodras

8,400 coronavirus-related deaths have been avoided in Greece since the national vaccine rollout late December last year, professor for infectious and the country’s top epidemiologists Sotiris Tsiodras said Wednesday, in a rare Live on TV appearance to convince people to get the jab.

He added that according to analysis models, some 5,560 intensive care unit (ICU) admissions have been averted thanks to the Covid-19 shots.
Tsiodras stressed that there would have been 1,200 fewer deaths of 95% of the population had been vaccinated by mid-July and underlined that the death rate among vaccinated people has been reduced by 91%..
Referring to rates of effectiveness of vaccines towards serious illness and death after the prevalence of the Delta variant, Tsiodras sai that effectiveness remains high also after the Delta variant.
“Βefore the appearance of the Delta variant, vaccines effectiveness ranged between 92 and 98 percent, while after Delta this dropped to between 71 and 96 percent, meaning that the vaccines remained effective in the post-Delta period,” Tsiodras said. He added that “effectiveness also remained high in terms of those requiring treatment in an ICU in the post Delta period, ranging from 91 to 98 percent.

Addressing the skeptics, he said “the idea that vaccines do not work is just wrong.”

He emphasised that the vaccines are very effective with respect to serious disease for all ages: “They not only reduce the danger for older people but also for the young,” Tsiodras said.

He predicted that the upcoming winter will not be easy with regards to the pandemic.

Greece experiences a new surge of daily coronavirus infections in the last few days and a seriously slow-down in the vaccinations program.

In the new COVID-MAP updated on Wednesday, more regional units including islands were placed in higher risk level.

Particularly grim is the situation in northern Greece with extreme pressure on the hospitals and reports that intubated covid-patients are being treated outside ICUs.

No general lockdown

Health Minister Thanos Plevris reassured on Wednesday that no Covid patient will be left without any medical help, adding that private hospitals may join the national health system in providing treatment for Covid cases.

In an interview with state-run news agency amna, Plevris ruled out a new general lockdown like in the other waves of the pandemic in the country, stressing that it is up to the government to decide not to scientists.

“We will consult with the scientists, taking their recommendations into account, but I am not a minister who will hide behind scientists. Decisions at the end of the day are signed by the minister and the government. Scientists recommend. If we get to a point where their recommendations differ from our philosophy and policy, we will obviously discuss these things. If there is an opposite approach, we will re-examine it based on the data at that time,” Plevris said.

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