Greece expects to start vaccinations against COVID-19 on December 27, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday.
EU members have been waiting for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to approve the vaccine developed by U.S. drug company Pfizer and its partner BioNTech.
Mitsotakis said that based on the latest EMA update, the Pfizer vaccine’s approval is expected on December 22.
“We expect that the first batch of the vaccine will be in our country on December 26 and from the following day we will be able to have our first vaccinations at five hospitals in Athens and then in Thessaloniki,” he told a meeting held to review the country’s vaccination plan.
The December 27 start date – confirmed by EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen – will be almost three weeks after the world’s first fully tested COVID-19 vaccination was administered in England.
Greece reported 1,115 new infections on Thursday, bringing the total to 128,710 and 3,948 COVID-19-related deaths.
Mitsotakis said the first to be vaccinated would be public health staff and occupants of elderly care facilities. Then people aged over 65 will follow.