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Greece Pushes for Covid-19 Vaccination with New Incentives and Laws

Photo source: Ministry of Health

In view of mounting Covid-19 cases and the imminent impact on economic activity, Greek authorities are introducing a new round of measures and incentives including mandatory vaccination for certain groups as well as subsidies.

Despite breaking the 10 million doses barrier, Greece still faces a problem of vaccination turnout with many Greeks still refusing to get the jab, which authorities believe is impacting the country’s economic recovery and putting others at risk. 

Earlier this week, anti-vaccination demonstrators took to the streets of Athens protesting against government proposals to make vaccination mandatory.

Greece has so far administered 10,025,958 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine with 5,551,526 people having completed at least one dose and the  number of fully vaccinated reaching 4,787,767.

Greek Parliament Votes on Mandatory Vaccination

On Thursday, Greek parliament passed a relevant amendment which foresees obligatory vaccination for all private and public sector employees in health and senior care facilities and hospitals as well as for ambulance and nursing staff by September 1. Those who fail to comply may face suspension without pay.

Additionally, all employees are required by law to provide proof of vaccination or recovery or face dismissal while employers face fines.

Authorities also announced on Thursday that unvaccinated restaurant and tourism staff will have to conduct regular Covid-19 testing.

In a meeting on Friday, with Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis justified the decision citing Article 25 of the Greek constitution which asserts that “the state has the right to demand of all citizens the fulfil their obligation for social and national solidarity”.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with doctors and nursing staff in the new hospital of Halkida. Photo source: @PrimeMinisterGR

Deputy Health Minister Vasilis Kontozamanis said mandatory vaccination for other professional groups was under consideration, underlining that vaccination was the only “weapon” available to deal with Covid-19.

Making vaccination more “attractive”

In the meantime, in order to make vaccination more “attractive”, Health Minister Vasilis Kikilias announced financial incentives for pharmacists and doctors which include subsidies for booked vaccination appointments as well as for in-home vaccinations. This comes on the back of the 150-euro ‘Freedom Pass’ voucher offered to youths who get vaccinated. 

Greece also announced this week that it would be launching an online platform for individuals requiring in-home vaccinations due to mobility issues.  

Speaking to the press on Friday, Government Spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni said the government would take any measures necessary to address high viral loads in given locations and urged people to comply to regulations, wear masks and get vaccinated.

In the last 24-hour period, Greece’s recorded 2,604 coronavirus cases, of which 1,066 in the wider Athens area, 243 in Thessaloniki, 129 in Heraklion (Crete), 82 in Rethymno (Crete), 62 in Achaia, and 61 in Chania (Crete). The islands of Rhodes, Mykonos, Evia, and Corfu are still high in infections, the National Public Health Organization (EODY) said.  

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About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.
  1. Luis Reply

    Always freedom of choice. Everyone has the right to choose. Cases of vaccinated people getting Covid are also increasing. Those who have suffered from Corona are developing stronger Antibodies and are more likely to recover better next time. Only winners are pharmaceuticals, doctors, governments and WHO.
    Get ready for a non stop series of vaccinations, it’s crazy stuff. ALWAYS FREEDOM OF CHOICE


    I have tried for 6 days to get an appointment for the Covid Vaccination using the Greek KEP social service. They have tried and not been able to get me the appointment. All of my Greek documents are certified and correct.
    I have contacted the Government department who issue the AMKA no reply.
    I have contacted the Greek covid website no response.’
    My pharmacy here has not been able to get me an appointment.
    On the Greek website it states that I am not eligible for the vaccination even though Im over 15 years old in fact 74, the government want us all to have the vaccination but the system is rubbish

  3. Jay Vee Reply

    If you start on showing numbers than compare those who get the virus (not vaccinated) and end up in the hospital or die and those who are vaccinated and end up in the hospital or die. Also the remarks that those ending up with severe health issues after receiving the jab had underlying health issues is a poor excuse for administering a drug that is still not approved and experimental and only ventilated by those lucky ones that had minor to no reaction to it. Also those who are vaccinated, why the fear caused by those who are not. You’re vaccinated. I still hope that the basic laws of countries respect the rights of a human being to decide what he or she wants to be done to their body, without being discriminated for their choice. Don’t all lives matter?

  4. Pamela+Wigham Reply

    People who made the above comments, look around you at the third world countries who do not have the luxury of mass vaccinations, they are still dying by the thousands and I am sure they would only be too willing to be vaccinated if they were given the choice. Everyone I know who decided not to get the vaccine and contracted Covid regretted their decision. George you are absolutely right.

    • Narges Reply

      So true

  5. Radha Reply

    Coercion and bribery. Is illegal.
    Those guilty of pushing medicines, drugs
    are committing a crime according to the
    Nuremberg Act,
    Dr Micheal Yeadon

  6. Storm Reply

    Government is playing a high stake play in this case. They are breaking international laws, the Nuremberg code, “Do no harm” and they are playing with fire in the population. Lives are at stake and not only because of virus and vaccines…

  7. T Ferguson Reply

    Manitory vaccinations are against international law, have you forgotten the Nazi’s, vaccinated people are getting the virus at a higher rate than non vaccinated for gods sake listen to scientists and not politicians.

    • George Reply

      Cite your source. For instance, in the US, over 97-99% (depending on the state) of new infections and hospitalizations are those who are NOT vaccinated.

      People who got vaccinated either don’t get Covid, or they get it with no (or few) symptoms.

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