A boy from Cyprus who was denied emergency medical flight to Germany due to immunization concerns about his parents, was on Monday on standby for crucial surgery in Greece, with his father criticizing vaccination requirements but clarifying he was not against measures.
Local media said a 3-year-old Russian boy from Cyprus was flown by air ambulance to Greece over the weekend for emergency surgery, after a flight to Germany was canceled due to both parents being unvaccinated against the coronavirus.
But as of Monday morning reports said the operation had not been scheduled in Greece due to additional complications.
Cypriot health ministry’s permanent secretary Christina Yiannaki said the boy was admitted to intensive care at a children’s hospital in Athens where he was diagnosed with viral pneumonia, with the government official suggesting an infection in the boy’s lungs caused by a virus was complicating preparations for surgery.
The boy was initially supposed to fly to a hospital in Germany where he had undergone another procedure last year, but this time around reports said the parents were told they could not bring the child for surgery because they were unvaccinated.
'No, this does not mean I understand these measures, they are inhumane and the people who adopted them are criminals, but I will not insult my child with the lack of hope'
But last week the dad vented his frustration on Facebook, saying “my son might not make it” due to “inhumane requirements.”
“This is blackmail and war on people. No it's not parental negligence, it's just killing my son,” he wrote.
German embassy officials in Nicosia said “hospitals and nursing homes can restrict access for visitors and family members of patients,” adding in a press release last week that “each case has to be considered on its own merits.”
Cypriot authorities blamed the mishap and delays on both parents for not getting vaccinated, with Yiannaki saying they had known about the requirement.
But the father suggested the situation was left to deteriorate in Cyprus until the moment when the boy, who was on oxygen support Makarios Children’s Hospital, had to be airlifted, saying nobody had told them they would need to get vaccinated to accompany their child for the operation in Germany.
“In Germany, I did not know that you had to be vaccinated for any medical procedures on a child,” the father said, adding “had I known, I would have done it of course.”
In a conversation on Facebook, the dad went on to reject insinuations that he was against COVID vaccines, and further clarified that they had taken the boy to the German clinic in question once before while both parents were unvaccinated.
“I prefer to take the tests or not go to [restricted] places where [vaccines] are needed,” he responded to a fellow social media user, adding “people with runny noses and sneezing were allowed into this clinic.”
Reports said the parents got their first of two doses of the COVID vaccine a few days ago, following the German clinic’s recommendation for the Pfizer jab.
But Yiannaki criticized the parents for not getting the Janssen jab, saying the health ministry had told the family that a single dose vaccine would have been the fastest way to fly to Germany.
Local media said the father publicly thanked Yiannaki and the authorities for their assistance, but he maintained that nobody had told them a single dose was an option.
“No, this does not mean I understand these measures, they are inhumane and the people who adopted them are criminals, but I will not insult my child with the lack of hope,” he wrote last week.