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Society

Greek Police Resist COVID-19 Vaccinations, Won’t be Forced

September 9, 2021

ATHENS – Unlike health care workers now – and perhaps clerics and teachers – Greece's police force won't be required to get COVID-19 vaccinations despite interacting with the public.

Only 60-62 percent of officers have gotten the shot, said said SKAI TV, far less than the nearly 90 percent of health care workers, the remaining 10 percent facing suspension unless they are inoculated.

The number of police refusing is a big headache for the New Democracy government's hope to create herd immunity by vaccinating at least 70 percent of the population of 10.7 million, Alternate Interior Minister Stelios Petsas admitted.

“It is a huge issue which undermines the credibility of (police) checks to a great extent and creates reactions among the citizens who are being checked,” he told SKAI, adding he is in favor of requiring the police to be vaccinated – but Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis isn't so far.

“I have said many times in the past about several categories of public sector workers who are in contact with citizens that this needs to be addressed,” said Petsas and it hasn't been said why the government is going easy on the police, a big voting bloc it also needs to implement tougher anti-crime measures.

The number of vaccinated officers in the Hellenic Police (ELAS) was 58 percent in August, said Kathimerini in a review of data, and it has gone up only marginally after the edict for the health care workers that began Sept.1.

The police are also in constant contact with the public and in charge of enforcing what's left of shredded health measures such as wearing masks and staying safe social distances apart which have largely been ignored or defied.

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