Greece recommends COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 12-15

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People without protective face masks take a selfie at an archaeological site of the Acropolis following the easing of measures against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Athens, Greece, June 24, 2021. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

ATHENS, July 26 (Reuters) - Greece said on Monday children aged 12-15 could be vaccinated against COVID-19 with Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna shots, extending the inoculations of adolescents that was begun this month as infections continue to rise.

The head of Greece's vaccination committee, Maria Theodoridou, said including younger teenagers in the programme would help protect vulnerable youngsters and relatives and prepare the way for a return to school in September.

A country of 11 million people, Greece has so far administered more than 10.2 million first shots. About 46.8% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to Marios Themistokleous, secretary-general in charge of vaccinations.

In an effort to entice more people to get vaccinated, the government has offered incentives including cash and free mobile data for youths to try to bring the rate up to 70% by the autumn.

Greece reported 2,070 new COVID-19 infections and five deaths on Monday, bringing the total number of infections since the pandemic began to 477,975 and the death toll to 12,903.

Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by Alison Williams

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