ATHENS – Health care workers in Greece who refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and were suspended will be allowed to return to work now, Health Minister Thanos Plevris told Mega TV.
They had been singled out at the same time the New Democracy government let anti-vaxxers eventually have the same privileges as the vaccinated to public gathering spots and weren’t forced to be inoculated.
The move affects some 6,500 refuseniks who went without pay rather than take the shot even though in their profession they could see hundreds of thousands of people infected, and thousands in Intensive Care Units and dying.
The suspensions were fought by the main union of hospital workers and even some doctors said they wouldn’t take the shot and were willing to go without pay to take a stand against it.
Greece’s top administrative court, the Council of State, called for the measure to be repealed, following a complaint brought by the union, noted Agence France-Presse after the government essentially ended health measures to attract tourists and revenues as the pandemic waned.
“The ruling will be implemented, though I tell you I think it is a dangerous decision for public health,” he said without indicating there wouldn’t be an appeal if he felt that strongly about it.
More than 5.3 million Covid infections have been recorded in Greece since the start of the pandemic, according to the health ministry, with more 34,000 deaths attributed to the virus and counting.