Answers concerning ICUs, the 4th dose, the adequacy of the vaccines but also for mandatory vaccinations, were given today by the Deputy Minister of Health, Mina Gaga.

“Although we have a stabilization in case numbers, maybe a declining trend, in many areas the health system is under a lot of pressure, as the number of intubations and hospitalizations has increased,” said Ms. Gaga, adding that “we always have patients who intubated outside the ICU. “If the patient can be moved, transferred to another hospital, if he is unstable and can not be stabilized, he should be treated differently.”

As he added, speaking to ANT1 tv, “the truth is that we have a lot of admissions and a lot of intubations every day. It also takes a few hours for the ventilator tubes to be disinfected and for things to be as they should be, which is why any ICU bed that is left empty is not occupied immediately. ”

“Only a percentage of patients will not be able to get into an intensive care unit immediately. We use all public and private beds. We have converted our own ICUs mainly for coronavirus cases and the other cases are transferred to ICUs in private clinics. The pressure on the NHS is mainly due to lack of staff, as much more staff is needed to monitor patients in the clinics, who are there by intubation or with increased oxygen supply,” Ms. Gaga pointed out.

On children and pregnant women

Regarding pregnant women, the Deputy Health Minister said that “the problem with pregnant women is that they have not been vaccinated. The point is that we all say in every tone that pregnant women and those who want to get pregnant should be vaccinated, we see young women getting sick and being intubated, this is a terrible thing. Only in the Hippokration Hospital of Thessaloniki we had 27 intubations in November.”

Regarding the vaccination of children, she said that for the ages 12-17 there is still no report on the required third dose, while she called on all parents “to watch on Tuesday, the live briefing by Ms. Theodoridou and Ms. Papaevangelou. They will inform on all their questions and anxieties, even through a pediatrician and the National Vaccination Committee.”

On the 4th dose and the adequacy of the vaccines

Regarding the possible fourth dose of the vaccine, she noted that “from the first data it seems that the vaccines are effective. We need to know that in all infections, the first infection is more severe, the subsequent ones are milder, since we have already come in contact with the virus,” she said of the vaccines’ strength, adding that “it seems that the third dose of the vaccine shields well. If there will be a fourth installment, the experts, the Committee of Experts will tell us, depending on international developments.”

“If another dose is needed, there will be enough to do it,” she noted.

The Omicron variant, the unvaccinated and mandatory vaccinations

Regarding the new cases of the Omicron variant that were detected in Greece, Ms. Gaga said that “tracing is undertaken, from what we have seen so far, not only in Greece, but internationally, the characteristics are mild.

As Mina Gaga said, referring to the unvaccinated citizens over 60, “we have a month ahead of us to avoid the fine, there are many appointments available, more than 100,000 vaccinations are made per day, there is no room for those who want to be vaccinated” .

For the mandatory nature of vaccination, the Deputy Health Minister said that “the people who are most at risk, who are most in the ICUs and expire, are over 60 years old, so the mandatory vaccination concerns them. We have seen other groups that know they are at risk, such as those who are immunosuppressed and have been vaccinated. At the moment there is no thought of extending compulsory vaccination by age or by profession.”

Asked about the inspections in the temples, in view of Christmas, Ms. Gaga said “I consider it very important to follow the rules, as well as the control for the observance of the rules. “But the most important thing is for everyone to take measures on their own for themselves and those around them.”