Greece’s government ruled that all people over 60 should be fully vaccinated. As Reuters has learned, the prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis insists on the unpopular move to avoid the dissemination of the COVID-19 pathogen.
Since today, Greece makes COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for 60+ in a move to quell a resurgent virus that is burdening a frail healthcare system. According to the authorities, those who failed to comply from Jan 16 would face a recurring monthly fine of EUR100.
Greece joins the group of other EU nations where vaccines are already mandatory for health workers and other high-risk groups of workers. Commenting on the move, PM Mitsotakis said he struggled with the decision, but it was necessary to protect more than half a million elderly Greeks who had failed to get at least one anti-covid shot.
“Its the price to pay for health,” Greece PM said.
So far, about 63% of Greece’s 11 million population is fully imminized against the coronavirus. While vaccine appointments have picked up in recent weeks, health ministry data shows there are 520,000 people over the age of 60 who have failed to get a jab.
Greece’s main opposition party faulted the measures as being punitive and financially excessive. “This hasn’t happened anywhere,” opposition stressed. In fact, EUR100 fine is a hefty chunk of the average monthly EUR730 pension.
Greece this month barred unvaccinated people from indoor spaces including restaurants, cinemas, museums and gyms as daily COVID-19 cases hit record highs.