ATHENS – With speculation raging about what the New Democracy government will do for workers who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19, government spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni said they won't be fired over it.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hasn't required health care workers to be vaccinated if they don't want to although he said he could make inoculations mandatory by September if the benchmark of protecting 70 percent of the population isn't met.
That is what health officials said is needed to further beat back the pandemic although the number of cases, critically ill patients and deaths has been subsiding as the vaccinations rise, now past the 20 percent mark.
“The Prime Minister clearly set the framework in Parliament… It concerns health workers and employees in elderly care units,” she said during her daily briefing of reporters, said Kathimerini.
She said the government is waiting for another assessment from the advisory panel of doctors and scientists who are reviewing epidemiological data, Peloni saying the panel is “weighing things with the required social sensitivity.”
“This is a lively debate, it concerns other countries as well, all views are being tabled,” she added, althogh there is still a small but intense core of anti-vaxxers in Greece who think the shots aren't safe or effective, despite evidence they are.
“There is already a de-escalation in the number of cases, a drop in the transmissibility index, a reduction in hospitalizations and intubations of our fellow citizens,” she said.
The government has been said to be offering advantages and benefits to people who are vaccinated, such as in the freer movement of travel as the campaign has been stepped up considerably.