After he got his shot, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis declared Sunday “a great day for science and the European Union.”
“We hope that, with time, even those of our fellow citizens who are suspicious of vaccination will be convinced it is the right thing to do,” he said.
Meanwhile, a new virus variant that has been spreading rapidly around London and southern England has now been detected in France, Italy, Spain, Canada and Japan. The new variant, which British authorities said is much more easily transmitted, has prompted many countries to restrict travel from Britain.
Japan announced it would temporarily ban all non-resident foreigners from entering through Jan. 31 as a precaution against the U.K.’s new variant.
Germany’s BioNTech has said it’s confident that its vaccine works against the new U.K. variant, but added that further studies are needed.
The European Medicines Agency on Jan. 6 will consider approving another vaccine made by Moderna, which is already being used in the United States.
Dr. Annalisa Malara, who diagnosed Italy’s first domestic case on Feb. 20 that confirmed Europe’s outbreak was underway, was on hand at her hospital in Codogno to encourage all Italians to get the shot.
“Today we close the circle a bit that was opened on Feb. 20,” she said.
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