After the announcement of the gradual relaxation of measures, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou referred to vaccination noting that “the Vaccination Plan is going according to plan. We have achieved a very important goal that we had set, having vaccinated 70% of people aged 80 and over, while we continue to increase the rate of vaccination of people aged 70 and over. March is a crucial month, as we expect to receive more than 160,000 vaccine doses, which translates into vaccination coverage for vulnerable groups along with vaccination by age group. That is why we proceeded with a prudent lifting of the measures, so that we can benefit from the extra time next month for greater vaccination coverage of the population.
The vaccine is our only weapon to get out of the health crisis the soonest possible. Delayed vaccination of populations in all countries gives rise to virus mutations, resulting in an increase in hospitalizations and deaths. We are, once again, in a battle with time. Until we achieve our desired vaccination coverage rate, our only assets are the measures of social distancing and personal protection.
We often refer to health protocols and the need to comply with them. Measures and protocols are effective when applied carefully. We see it in practice and we know that it works. I understand that for a long time now, the fatigue that has befallen us all has made this goal more difficult. But if there is one thing we have learned in the last year, that we have been deprived of and sacrificed a lot, it is that together, with responsibility and discipline, we can all achieve our goals. At this stage we find ourselves in, the weapon of vaccination has come to strengthen our individual and collective effort.
We are near the end. Victory in this last battle will come with vaccination coverage. We proceed with steady and careful steps. We want the restarting to be successful and I am certain that this view reflects that of the whole of society. I ask you, dear fellow citizens, once again, to join forces in this final effort to curb the virus. And this time, let us continue with responsibility and seriousness, with a little more patience. Our common goal is to protect the health of each and every individual citizen. In the end, let us all be healthy together.”