ATHENS – The numbers have been by more than half but 22 percent of Greek police still aren't vaccinated against COVID-19 – more than twice that of health care workers who are required to be inoculated or be suspended without pay.
The New Democracy government hasn't moved to make shots mandatory for police, a key voting bloc and needed to enforce Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' law-and-order pledges.
Citizen Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos told SKAI TV that he thinks a “systematic effort” to persuade the skeptics would work although it hasn't yet during the 18-month pandemic.
He didn't say why he's optimistic now said or if there hadn't been an all-out persuasion campaign to try to convince police the shots are safe and effective and not part of an international conspiracy to alter their DNA or control their minds as many anti-vaxxers believe.
“Some younger guys are of the opinion that they will not get sick and are not in danger, but I think life has shown us that the opposite is the case. We are continuing the very systematic effort to vaccinate them and I believe that we will have results in this regard,” he said of the refuseniks.
Police are also, on occasion, enforcing government health restrictions that have largely been ignored, seeing people shunning masks and not staying safe social distances with law enforcement forces interacting with them daily.
Greek health care workers are required to be inoculated or be suspended without pay although only about 10 percent haven't been yet and aren't being convinced even at the loss of their wages.