Greece, Turkey agree to recognize each other’s COVID-19 vaccination certificates

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The Turkish and Greek foreign ministers have agreed to recognize each other’s coronavirus vaccination certificates in an attempt to boost tourism, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Monday.

“The agreement we reached today will contribute positively to our respective tourism sectors,” Turkish Foreign Miniser Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said at a joint news conference with his Greek counterpart, Nikos Dendias, in Athens.

Both countries rely heavily on tourism revenues for their economies.

Turkey, which imposed a 17-day lockdown between April 29 and May 17 after the average daily number of coronavirus infections hit 60,000 in mid-April, is planning to ease coronavirus measures this week with a drop in the number of cases per day to around 7,000.

The country began its vaccination drive in January with CoronaVac, a coronavirus vaccine developed by the Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac, and is continuing with Comirnaty, developed by Pfizer-BioNTech. CoronaVac has not yet received authorization from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for use in the European Union, while Comirnaty was the first vaccine in Europe that received authorization.

A total of 12,454,295 people have been fully vaccinated in Turkey so far, while 16,569,549 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Greece, which has been criticized for having one of the slowest vaccination rollouts in Europe, has been vaccinating its citizens with a variety of vaccines including the one developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, US companies Johnson & Johnson and Moderna and the AstraZeneca vaccine developed by the University of Oxford.

As of May 24 more than 5 million people had received at least one dose of the vaccine in Greece.

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