COVID19: Calls for vaccinated to be tested

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Scientists propose health authorities should reconsider COVID-19 measures by redesigning their testing policy to include targeted tests on those who are fully vaccinated.

In comments to Phileleftheros daily, the head of the team of scientists advising the government on coronavirus, Dr Constantinos Tsioutis, said authorities need to review measures to keep COVID-19 in check as winter approaches.

He explained that an uptick in daily cases and hospitalisations implies that authorities should tweak measures.

“For the first time since the pandemic broke out, we have not reviewed measures for over six months.

“So it is about time we start reading the signs before us correctly and take the appropriate measures,” said Tsioutis.

Specifically, Tsioutis suggests that vaccinated people, working or frequenting high-risk environments, should also be tested every 72 hours as those who are not fully jabbed.

“We know the vaccinated also get infected and can transmit the virus. That is why we should ensure that these people are tested for their sake and protect the people around them.

“Vaccination is a tool, perhaps the most basic for the treatment of coronavirus, but it is not the only weapon we have.

“At the same time, we do not know how effective vaccines are and how long their immunity lasts.

“Therefore, we must evaluate the other tools we have at our disposal which are complementary such as rapid tests, distancing, masks, etc.”

Commenting on measures to pressure the unvaccinated to roll up their sleeves for a jab, Tsioutis said that “will not change anything, as these people will not be changing their mind”.

“On the contrary, the aim of the vaccination program should be to study the effectiveness of the vaccines continuously and to monitor the progress of the booster shot rollout.

“I think one of the main reasons for the new outbreak is that for a long time, we had a low number of cases, and we decided on our own that the pandemic was over. We are now seeing the results.”