February 20, 2021


Vaccine delays throughout the European Union have been an issue due the snowstorms. Greece is a member of the European Union, and they are now experiencing issues vaccinating citizens because of a massive snowstorm. On Tuesday, heavy snow overtook the city of Athens, which caused COVID-19 vaccinations to be halted.

The Impact of the Snow

Greece citizens and the government officials in Athens are not used to receiving heavy snow bursts like the one that struck on Tuesday. Countless public services in the city were closed in preparation for the snowstorm.

The public transportation services were closed, Greece’s primary highway was shut down, ferry services to the island were canceled, and flights to and from the city’s airport were disordered. Additionally, fallen trees caused blackouts all over Athens. This left the city’s 3 million residents locked down in their homes.

In a typical year without COVID-19, this snowstorm would be disturbing for Athens because of winter storms’ irregularity in the area. When healthcare workers are attempting to vaccinate citizens, the snowstorm becomes an even more onerous burden to overcome.

Snow is a usual occurrence in Greece’s mountains and in the northern portion of the country. Although, heavy snow is usually unseen in the capital of Athens. The fire department received over 600 calls because of issues caused by the snow.

Further Vaccine Delays for COVID-19

The Athens Fire Services spokesman Vassilis Vathrakoyiannis stated that, “Vaccinations have been postponed, but we have helped transport doctors and medical staff where they are needed, and we helped power technicians get to damaged electricity pylons in areas where access was difficult.”

The snow was just another reason for Greece citizens to stay inside during this period. In Greece, as of late, there has been a spike of COVID-19 cases throughout the country. Parts of the country have been locked down to prevent a further spread of the virus.

The COVID-19 lockdowns have caused schools to go online, nonessential stores to close, and a curfew to be established for residents in these areas. This unexpected winter blizzard hit other countries surrounding Greece.

In Turkey, this same snowstorm caused highway closures in the northwestern corner of the country. This yielded 600 vehicles to be stalled on a six-mile portion of the road and another 800 cars stranded on other parts of the highway.

The Current COVID-19 Numbers in Greece

The snow served as a relief for many Greeks who utilized the snow as a necessary break from life’s stresses. Citizens in Athens were seen sledding and building snow statues in the streets of the city.

Cleanup crews are hard at work repairing the snowstorm damage to return the city to normalcy so vaccinations can resume. On January 21, 2021, the seven-day average of cases was 457. As of February 15, 2021, the seven-day standard is 1,178.

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