Greece: Only 40 Per Cent of Asylum Seekers in Migrant Camps Want Vaccine

This photograph shows a vial of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against the Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) at the health center of Elafonissos, on the Elafonissos Island, on April 23, 2021. - Residents of the southern Greek island of Elafonissos received their covid vaccines, that will soon mark the destination as covid-free ahead of …
ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images

A poll has revealed that fewer than half of the asylum seekers living in migrant reception facilities in Greece are willing to take the Wuhan coronavirus vaccine.

The poll taken by the Greek National Organization for Public Health (EODY) revealed that just 40 per cent of the asylum seekers surveyed wanted to get the vaccine.

The Greek newspaper Kathimerini reports that the reason could be linked to the fact that the vast majority of asylum seekers in Greece are below 40.

A source told the newspaper that most of them have only seen mild symptoms of the virus, and “as a result, they see no reason to get vaccinated.”

At the end of March, the Greek government announced that it would be starting to vaccinate migrants living in migrant camps in the Aegean islands starting in May.

Greek migration minister Notis Mitarakis noted that only a small section of the populations of the camps qualified for the vaccine as the residents tend to be younger.

The minister added that the government could only find 11 residents of migrants camps who were in the 80- to 85-year-old age bracket, and among them, the majority did not want to take the vaccine.

Kathimerini claims that the camps, which are often overcrowded, can be “super spreaders” of the virus. In the last ten days, over 30 positive cases were reported at the Mavrovouni camp on the island of Lesbos, resulting in 100 people being placed in quarantine.

Over the course of the pandemic, several camps have seen quarantine measures introduced due to outbreaks of the virus, including the former camp of Moria, which was also located on Lesbos.

The Moria camp, which had been especially overcrowded, was set on fire in September after lockdown measures were introduced following 35 residents testing positive for coronavirus. The fire resulted in the displacement of over 13,000 people.

In March, two teenage Afghan asylum seekers were convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for their roles in the arson that led to the camp’s destruction.

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


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