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Society

Greece Mulls Benefits to COVID-19 Vaccinated to Push Unvaccinated

ATHENS – Hoping to persuade doubters that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and and effective – and reach a critical benchmark to beat back the pandemic – Greece's New Democracy government is pondering offering advantages to the inoculated.

It wouldn't happen until the fall, said Kathimerini, but Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' advisory panel of doctors and scientists is said to be considering recommending that people who are vaccinated have access to indoor entertainment such as restaurants, bars, theaters, cinemas, concerts and possibly indoor sports events, barring the unvaccinated.

Some 6.8 million people in a country of 10.7 million have gotten at least one of two required shots of most doses – the US' Johnson & Johnson is a single shot – but little more than 20 percent are fully vaccinated.

Health authorities said 70 percent is needed to roll back the pandemic although the current rate is working enough to have allowed the easing of a lenient lockdown and consideration to lift it on July 1, the paper said earlier.

The government wants to wait until the autumn, however, when there would have been enough vaccines to offer everyone inoculations although Mitsotakis said he would think about making shots mandatory if not enough take them.

His government also has said it wouldn't allow the firing of unvaccinated workers and he won't require health workers so far to also take the shots even though they are in the front line of fighting the health crisis.

But public employees who refuse to be vaccinated could find themselves transferred to other positions away from those who have gotten their shots and find their career progress hindered and even their salaries being affected.

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