Vaccination against Covid-19 has officially began in Greece with two citizens and several authority figures receiving the first jabs. Doctors, nurses and the elderly rolled up their sleeves across the European Union to try the first doses of the coronavirus vaccine on Sunday in a symbolic show of unity against the worst health care crisis in a century.

The first Greek to be vaccinated yesterday was Efstathia Kambissiouli, head nurse of the intensive care units at Athens’ Evangelismos hospital.

“In my personal opinion, all health professionals are being honoured and [it] is a recognition of our work and our contribution,” Ms Kambissiouli told the media.

“I hope a new page is turned on today, but we got a lot of way to go, we must adhere to measures and hold fast to our goal and when we are all vaccinated we can take our lives back.”

Efstathia Kambissiouli, left, a Greek nurse working in a state hospital intensive care, receives an injection with a dose of COVID-19 vaccine, in Athens, Sunday, 27 December 2020. Photo: AAP via AP/Yorgos Karahalis

“I felt great, I have no fear and no doubt. I have been vaccinated many times in my life,” she said after receiving the vaccine.

The second person to receive the much-awaited jab at the same hospital, was Michalis Giovanidis, 88, a nursing home resident.

Mr Giovanidis asked to be the first to be vaccinated to contribute to the national effort.

Michalis Giovanidis, waits to receive an injection . Photo: AAP via AP/Yorgos Karahalis

Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou was vaccinated against the coronavirus right after the two citizens on Sunday afternoon.

“This Christmas, science gave us the greatest gift,” Ms Sakellaropoulou who is is the first of 45 state officials whose vaccination was given priority to, said after the procedure.

Greek President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou (L), receives an injection with a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: AAP via AP/EPA/Marios Lolos

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was also vaccinated, shortly after – at 2.30pm – at the Attikon hospital, in western Athens.

“This is a great day for science and the European Union,” he enthused, “which distributed the vaccines simultaneously to all members…We [officials] are being vaccinated first to show the vaccine is safe and effective…”

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.”

A few minutes later Parliament Speaker Constantine Tassoulas received his vaccine at Evangelismos followed by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agios Vlasios.

Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agios Vlasios receives the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Evangelismos hospital, in Athens. Photo: AAP via AP/EPA/Alkis Konstaninidis