ATHENS, June 22 (Xinhua) -- The vaccines against COVID-19 have brought optimism, but there should be no complacency in the war against the pandemic, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides said here Tuesday during a visit to discuss the progress of Greece's national vaccination campaign and the overall strategy of the Eurpean Union (EU).
"We are in a fragile phase of the pandemic where we have many reasons to be optimistic with the vaccines we have, but there can certainly be no complacency," she told Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, according to national broadcaster ERT.
The commissioner welcomed the declining trend in new infections and hospitalizations across the bloc, stressing the need to keep an eye on new variants which are more transmissible.
Regarding the future, she said the EU should move forward to address health challenges in the same manner as with the vaccine strategy, through joint responses.
"We will have to proceed with structural changes, so that we can face future crises that we may have in front of us," added Kyriakides, who also visited a vaccination center in Athens and talked to local officials, doctors and citizens.
Mitsotakis thanked the European Commission for "taking the politically difficult decision to procure vaccines as a European Union and to distribute them to the member states based solely on their population and for not discriminating between countries, whether they are poor or richer, bigger or smaller," noting "this was a major success of European politics."
The progress in the war against the pandemic depends on the progress of vaccination programs, said the prime minister, adding that over 7.5 million vaccine doses have so far been administered in Greece.
Latest data from the Health Ministry showed that more than three million people in Greece are now fully vaccinated.