ATHENS – The clock is ticking fast for unvaccinated Greek health care workers who will suspended without pay on Sept. 1 unless they have at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Deputy Minister of Health Vassilis Kontozamanis told unvaccinated health workers at state-run and private hospitals to get their shot before the deadline or they will find themselves put on leave without pay.
In a letter to the directors of Greece’s regional health clinics, Kontozamanis said that health workers are obliged by law to receive their first dose of vaccination, or single-dose shot by the deadline, said Kathimerini.
Only around 10 percent or less of the workers have refused to be vaccinated, skeptics who don't believe the vaccines are safe or effective and others who think it's an international conspiracy to alter their DNA or control their minds.
Greece's Eleftheria (Freedom) vaccination program has stalled at around 50 percent of the population being fully protected, far short of the 70 percent needed to beat back the pandemic and bring recovery.
The unvaccinated and people defying health guidelines to wear masks and stay safe social distances, as well as wild partying on islands opened to tourists – where tourism workers aren't required to be vaccinated – as well as the Delta Variant has increased cases 10 times over the average daily rate earlier this summer.