ATHENS – Greece’s resurging COVID-19 pandemic, setting records on the back of the highly-contagious Omicron Variant, is reportedly making Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis rethinking whether to require mandatory vaccinations.
He had backed away from a pledge to consider required shots if the pandemic worsened to concentrate on an economic recovery before Omicron struck and is now said to be considering mandatory inoculations, said Kathimerini.
Only health care workers are required to be vaccinated or face unpaid suspensions and as of Jan. 16 that will also be mandatory for those over 60 to have made an appointment for their first shot or face 100-euro ($114) monthly fines.
Now, the paper said, that could also include those over 50 as well as rabid anti-vaxxers are continuing to spread the Coronavirus in record numbers, even infecting the fully vaccinated.
Current certificates for those having had two shots may also expire seven months after the last shot and require a third booster shot, Health Minister Thanos Plevris said, said of another measure under consideration, essentially declaring them unvaccinated otherwise.
Plevris told SKAI that the decision is “almost made,” adding that specific announcements will be made after the New Year although the mandate for those over 60 has seen sharp resistance, with more than 130,000 still not making a move to be vaccinated despite the threat of being fined.
The government considers that it is still early to decide whether to recommend, or make mandatory, a fourth dose for health workers and those with suppressed immune systems, the report said.
So far, 70.6 percent of Greece’s population of 10.7 million has received at least one shot and 66.4 percent two shots and 4,365,000 have gotten a third booster shot, below the level health officials said is needed to beat back COVID.
Not even the police force, which is required to enforce health care measures, is required to be vaccinated, nor tourism workers or other sectors despite the spread of the Coronavirus.