“We have so many smaller isles,” said Marios Themistocleous, the health ministry official overseeing the programme.
“Precisely because they’re so difficult to get supplies to, we decided to vaccinate entire populations in one go with the aim that when they begin receiving tourists, permanent residents are fully vaccinated and protected.”
The Greek army has been called in to aid the scheme, alongside police and coastguards who have been helping with transporting thousands of vaccines to the many tiny islands.
Islands with fewer than a thousand inhabitants where the vaccination program has been completed include Kastellorizo, Meganisi, Kastos, Thimena, Psara, Kalamos, Fourni and Inousses.
Other islands partaking in the scheme include Erikoussa, Agathonisi, Nisyros, Gavdos, Halki, Mathraki, Lipsi, Othoni, Tilos and Arki.