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Greece to make vaccination mandatory for citizens over 60

Greece to make vaccination mandatory for citizens over 60

If they refuse to get vaccinated, they will face monthly fines of EUR 100

On 30 November, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the government’s decision to make vaccinations mandatory for citizens over the age of 60. Explaining this decision, the PM stressed that the country intends to protect – not punish – the elderly.

Hefty fines

Currently, 3 in 4 people over the age of 12 have taken the COVID vaccine. What is more, Greece ranks second in Europe in terms of the daily administration of booster shots. While these are impressive achievements that help prevent the spread of the virus, the PM disclosed that citizens over the age of 60 are not participating in these efforts.

Giving an example, Mitsotakis revealed that only 60,000 of the 580,000 unvaccinated elderly citizens went to get vaccinated in November. This, according to the government, is too little when considering that most of the citizens dying from COVID are above the age of 60.

For this reason, vaccination will become mandatory for all citizens over 60. Expanding on this, the PM explained that senior citizens who have not yet taken the COVID vaccine must book an appointment for their first shot by 16 January. If they fail to do so, they will face a hefty fine of EUR 100 every month. The government will then use the money to finance the operations of hospitals.

“It’s a decision that tormented me personally. However, I feel a heavier responsibility to stand by the most vulnerable, even if they may be temporarily unhappy. I have absolutely no doubt that our political decision will save human lives,” the Greek PM defended his decision.

Ensuring safety during the holidays

In an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID during the Christmas holidays, Greece will offer free testing to both vaccinated and unvaccinated citizens to identify possible asymptotic carriers. These tests will be complementary from 6-12 December. To further monitor and control the spread of COVID after the holidays, Greece will provide free testing from 3-7 January.

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