Kathimerini Greece Newsroom
In the last few hours, an immediate jump in new vaccination appointments was recorded in Greece following an announcement from the Prime Minister that fines would be imposed on those that refused to get vaccinated by mid-January.
In the past 24 hours, 17,500 appointments were made for the first dose of COVID vaccine in the age group of 60 and over, according to government sources.
Mr. Mitsotakis explained that the government had previously exhausted all available means of persuasion, adding that the vaccinated elderly are 90% of those occupying ICU beds in hospitals.
The source emphasized that this number was close to 2,600 appointments per day, a sevenfold increase.
Mitsotakis: No plans to increase vaccination slots
Speaking at the Reuters NEXT digital conference, Kyriakos Mitostakis said, "Within the first 24 hours since the announcement of the measure for the compulsory vaccination of citizens over 60 years of age, we have recorded a significant increase in the appointments made for the first dose of the vaccination. I am confident that we are pursuing an effective policy," he said.
On the day the Greek Parliament adopted this measure, the Prime Minister characterized it as a proportional response in relation to the delays in the vaccination rate. Mr. Mitsotakis explained that the government had previously exhausted all available means of persuasion, adding that the vaccinated elderly are 90% of those occupying ICU beds in hospitals.
The prime minister described the monthly fine of 100 euros as reasonable, stressing that this will be confirmed by the tax authorities. "We must accelerate the vaccination rate for both the first dose and the booster dose," said Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who recalled that Greece was the first country at the EU level that allowed the entire population access to the third dose of the vaccine.
Asked about this, the Prime Minister pointed out that "at the moment there is no plan in the government to extend the measure of obligation to other age groups", stressing that for the time being, we are focusing on this age group, as it is the one that puts a lot of pressure on the NSS (Health System) and makes it difficult to treat our fellow citizens who have health problems other than Covid-19.
Compulsory vaccination: Who is affected
The new mandate will apply to all persons who have their domicile or habitual residence within the Greek territory and who were born before 31 December 1961. They must have received the first or single dose of the vaccine by 16 January 2022, and the completion of the vaccination cycle must be done according to the prescribed procedures and at the prescribed time.
Compulsory vaccination: Who is exempted
The new mandate will not apply to people who have recovered from coronavirus for a period of 180 days from the onset of the illness. Moreover, those who have proven health reasons that prevent them from getting the vaccine will also be exempt. This includes people with disabilities who are unable to undergo the vaccination procedure for reasons related to their actual condition as a result of their illnesses, such as severe cases of autism and epilepsy. They must present a certificate from their personal physician and the order must be approved by the committee.