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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-09-30

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Inoculation of population against new flu virus to begin in 20 days
  • [02] Retail sales down 10.2pct

  • [01] Inoculation of population against new flu virus to begin in 20 days

    Inoculation of the general population in Greece with the vaccine protecting against the A/H1N1 new flu virus will begin in 20 days' time, beginning with the vulnerable groups, health minister Dimitris Avramopoulos announced on Tuesday, following a meeting of the Flu Pandemic Committee on Wednesday.

    The government recently announced that the entire population, including foreign nationals, will be inoculated.

    Avramopoulos said that 100,000 vaccines have already been imported, and are stored at the National Health Center facilities in Vari, outside Athens, noting that the European Commission has already given the thumbs up to the pharmaceutical companies Novartis and Glaxo, which produce the new vaccine, to dispense in a large number of European countries, including Greece.

    Another 100,000 vaccines are due to arrive next week, according to ministry estimations.

    The vaccine will initially be administered to the vulnerable, or high risk, population groups, which are estimated at nearly 2.5 million people.

    Referring to the temporary closure earlier in the week of two highschools in two districts of Athens after several pupils contracted the virus, Avramopoulos explained that this had been a readiness exercise for the ministry and the authorities in general, which proved the effectiveness and success of the procedural protocol which has been set out by the ministry, when the problem arose in those schools.

    Following assessment of the situation in the two highschools, in Melissia and Haidari, where cases of the new flu were confirmed, the closure of all classes of the schools for seven days were recommended to Athens prefect Yiannis Sgouros, as per the procedural protocol.

    The health ministry also informed the education ministry, and assured that there was no cause for concern as the instructions given by the World Health Organisation (WHO) are being strictly adhered to.

    [02] Retail sales down 10.2pct

    Greece's retail sales volume index (turnover in fixed prices), including fuel and lubricants, fell 10.2 pct in July, compared with the same month last year, after a fall of 0.8 pct recorded in July 2008, the National Statistical Service said on Wednesday.

    The statistics service in a report attributed this decline to a 3.8 pct drop in foodstore sales, a 14.6 pct decline in fuel and lubricants sales and a 14.4 pct fall in other shop sales.

    The turnover index in the retail sales (current prices), including fuel and lubricants, fell 9.1 pct in July, after an increase of 4.2 pct recorded in July 2008.

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