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COVID Shot or Suspension: Greek Health Workers Dilemma

ATHENS – A minority of Greek health care workers who are refusing COVID-19 vaccinations will be suspended as of Sept. 1 – those in nursing homes already have – and won't be paid nor return to work unless they are inoculated or when the pandemic ends – if it does.

Deputy Health Minister Vassilis Kontozamanis said there won't be any postponements, official of informal, although panels will be set up around the country for those seeking exemptions for health reasons.

“All of society is grateful and we appreciate the work of our health workers and the results so far in managing the pandemic. And we are optimistic that the small percentage of unvaccinated health workers will get their shots by the deadline,” said Kontazamanis, reported Kathimerini.

Those who want to avoid being  put on leave, without pay, must have at least one shot of the vaccine by the deadline, with two shots required, except for the single-shot Johnson & Johnson version from the United States.

“For those who are not vaccinated, I want to be clear and unequivocal that the law will be implemented. The Greek Parliament has legislated… and the obligation of the state to implement the law is self-evident,” he said.

Employers who don't follow the law and allow unvaccinated workers to stay on the job face fines as high as 200,000 euros ($233,619) and the New Democracy government said no one will be fired for refusing to get the shots.

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