'It is very important for us to abide by the [public health] measures – mainly wearing masks, being careful in our contacts, and being tested wherever and whenever necessary. It is even more important to be vaccinated.'

With Greek hospitals in various regions at the breaking point, Alternate Health Minister Mina Gaga has again issued an urgent plea for people to get the COVID-19 jab – both for the first time and the third, booster shot – and underlined that the pandemic now hits mainly unvaccinated people.

Gaga, a doctor who specialises in pulmonary medicine, also underlined the critical importance of abiding by public health measures, in an interview with SKAI television today.

“The number of new infections is three times as high as last year, but fewer patients are being hospitalised. That demonstrates the great preventive capacity of vaccines. The majority of those who are vaccinated and then infected with the virus do not have symptoms and do not fall severely ill, she said

Importance of booster shot, abiding by public health measures

Gaga also corrected a slip of the tongue she had made in another recent interview regarding who becomes infected with the virus. “At one point I used the word “unvaccinated” instead of “vaccinated” people. Then, I immediately said that unvaccinated people become infected 13 to 20 times more frequently in comparison with the vaccinated,” she said.

Her words had been interpreted as meaning that the vaccinated become infected.

“It is very important for us to abide by the [public health] measures – mainly wearing masks, being careful in our contacts, and being tested wherever and whenever necessary. It is even more important to be vaccinated. Those who are unvaccinated should get their first dose, and those who have been vaccinated six months ago should get the third dose,” she said.

The embattled National Health Service

Gaga maintained that the government is bolstering the National Health Service.

“We are bolstering the system and the people who for the last two years have worked incessantly to confront the pandemic. One needs more forces [doctors], which we are adding to the system,” she said.

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