A migrant receives the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine by a member of staff from the National Health Organisation (EODY), at Karatepe refugee camp, on the northeastern Aegean island of Lesbos, Greece, Thursday, June 3, 2021. Vaccinations started Thursday for people over 18 years old in migrant camps on the Greek islands. (AP Photo/Panagiotis Balaskas)
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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek authorities launched a vaccination campaign Thursday for tens of thousands of asylum-seekers living in government-run facilities, starting with the islands of Lesbos, Chios, and Samos.

Health Ministry officials said the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine was being used for the program, which is scheduled to expand to other Greek islands and the mainland starting later this week.

Around 60,000 migrants and asylum-seekers currently live in camps, shelters, and government-subsidized apartments in Greece. About one-quarter are children and not currently eligible to receive vaccines.

COVID-19 has killed more than 12,000 people in the country of 10.7 people. Nearly one in five Greek residents have been fully vaccinated, according to government figures published Thursday. In a technical report published Wednesday, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control urged European Union member nations to “ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and ensure equitable uptake” for migrants and the wider population. ___ Follow more of AP’s pandemic and migration coverage at: