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Society

First Fines for Greece’s Unvaccinated Over-60’s Now Imposed

January 20, 2022

ATHENS – People in Greece over 60 years old who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19 – an estimated 10 percent – began paying the price for it when the first fines were imposed.

For January those will be 50 euros ($56.74) but that will double to 100 euros ($113.47) monthly beginning in February for those who aren’t inoculated or haven’t booked an appointment before then.

It wasn’t said how the money will be collected – if pensioners would see deductions or how those will working would have to pay – although reports said it could be tied to tax returns, the money going to hospitals.

The move was made reluctantly by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and made that age group only the second sector in Greece – after health care workers – who must be vaccinated as anti-vaxxers spread the Coronavirus.

The appearance of the highly-contagious Omicron Variant was another factor as it drove cases up to record numbers with those over 60 the most susceptible to becoming ill or perishing.

About nine in 10 coronavirus-related fatalities are people over 60, the government has said.

“They did the right thing because it’s good for all of us and our health,”  Vassilis Chrisikos, 85, told Reuters. “We got vaccinated, (so) shouldn’t everyone get vaccinated to get rid of this coronavirus?”

After the government said there would be fines people over 60 began rushing to make appointments but there are holdouts even though the amount is punitive for pensioners.

“On one side it’s good, because it will keep people from dying. On the other, it is a bit hefty, for pensioners,” Panagiotis Chatzigiannis, 73, told the news agency about the effect on the elderly.

Appointment platform for 4th vaccine shot opens

The platform for booking an appointment for a fourth shot of a vaccine against Covid-19 open for highly valuable immunosuppressed individuals in Greece on Thursday. This second booster shot can be given three months after the first booster.

The boosters will be an m-RNA vaccine, either Pfizer or Moderna, and aims to protect individuals in this group and create higher levels of antibodies.

Among people in this category are transplant patients, those on a waiting list for a transplant, people suffering from kidney failure, cancer patients and those undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment, those suffering from autoimmune diseases or taking immunity modifying treatment.

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