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Greek PM: Mandatory Vaccination, ‘Benefits’ to Enter Agenda Soon

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Hellenic Republic President Katerina Sakellaropoulou. Source: @PrimeMinisterGR

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis confirmed on Tuesday that the issue of mandatory vaccination against Covid-19 for certain groups as well as possible benefits for the fully vaccinated will soon be tabled for discussion.

Mitsotakis announced the news during a meeting earlier today with Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

“This discussion should take place in our country as will the issue of compulsory vaccination of special categories of workers in the health system, healthcare, elderly care units,” said Mitsotakis.

The prime minister said he was expecting a relevant conclusion on this issue from the bioethics committee in the coming days and said it would be made public.

With regard to Covid developments, Greece recorded 808 new Covid-19 cases and 24 deaths on Monday.

“Developments on the pandemic front are good. There is a significant  reduction in the number of cases, a rapid de-escalation in the number of hospitalizations as well as of our fellow citizens who need to be intubated,” said Mitsotakis, adding that he expected cases to drop even further in the coming weeks. 

Mitsotakis reiterated the importance of vaccination and of building a wall of immunity, adding that it is the only way to return to our lives in safety and to ensure the economy moves into action.

In this direction he referred to the importance of tourism as a driver of the economy and the need for it to operate smoothly, adding that the “signs appear to be very encouraging and that the economy will recover fast”.

Photo source: European Union / Photographer: Claudio Centonze

Mitsotakis went on to describe the current reluctance of many older individuals in Greece to get the jab as “sad”, adding that vaccination could have saved lives. “This”, he said “must change… it unfortunately, undermines social cohesion and should be addressed”.

The Greek PM went on to refer to the country’s “Eleftheria” campaign which “runs 100,000 vaccinations a day, or 1 percent of the population daily, 6,200,000 vaccinations in total of more than 4,000,000 fellow citizens have already received the first dose”, he said.

With regard to the recently-announced privileges for those who have been fully vaccinated, Mitsotakis said he preferred to use the word ‘perks’ or ‘advantages’ to describe the liberties that may soon be granted to the vaccinated.

He went on to add that the discussion on the issue will begin soon once all residents in Greece have access to vaccines.

Greece's Prometheus vaccination center in the northern Athens suburb of Maroussi. Photo source: @PrimeministerGR

Greece’s Prometheus vaccination center in the northern Athens suburb of Maroussi. Photo source: @PrimeministerGR

“I think it makes perfect sense as is already the case, for example with the digital certificate; proof of vaccination is enough, whereas in other cases one must constantly get tests to prove that it is negative,” said Mitsotakis.

Referring to the ethical issue of mandatory vaccination, Sakellaropoulou said that according to the Constitution no one has the right to endanger the community or other citizens.

“There is an issue here: apart from the protection of public health, the Constitution in no way recognizes the right to endanger another’s life and health,” she said, adding that vaccination should be seen as an issue of social responsibility.

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