Greece to Begin Vaccinating Migrants in May

A picture taken on October 14, 2020 shows the Kara Tepe camp for refugees and migrants on the island of Lesbos. - Greece will build a new permanent camp on the island of Lesbos next year to replace the facility that burned down last month, the migration minister said October …

Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis has announced that migrants and asylum seekers living on camps on the country’s Aegean islands will be vaccinated against the Wuhan virus, starting in May.

According to Mitarakis, only a small percentage of the migrants in the island camps actually qualify for the vaccination for the coronavirus, as many of the residents tend to be younger people or middle-aged, rather than elderly and at risk of serious complications from the virus.

“Data shows that the migration camps are not facing an issue of morbidity or spread of COVID-19 and thus do not fall into any special category. This concerns both the employees and residents of these structures, who will be vaccinated, in turn, based on age, along with the general population,” he said, newspaper E Kathimerini reports.

Mitarakis also stated that he did not see a reason to begin vaccinations of migrant camps anytime sooner than May.

According to Mitarakis, the government found only eleven qualified residents of migrant camps in the 80 to 85 age group, and the majority refused the vaccine.

There have been several confirmed case of the Wuhan virus in the Aegean island migrant camps in recent months, as well as confirmed cases among newly arrived migrants as early as May of last year, when two migrants arriving on Lesbos tested positive for the virus.

Several camps were also locked down after reported cases of the virus, such as the camp on the island of Chios which was placed under lockdown in October after 30 confirmed cases.

The former Lesbos camp of Moria was also placed under lockdown last year, leading to anger from some residents of the camp who went on to set fire to it in September, leaving around 13,000 people homeless.

Following the fire, several Afghans were arrested, including at least two underage migrants, and were accused of arson in relation to the fire.

Two were later found guilty of arson and sentenced to five years in prison for their role in the blaze.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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