by Andreas Kokkinos
The key to overcoming the pandemic is -according to all those in charge- the increase of vaccination coverage.
The mutations, as well as the largest sample of data available to scientists some 20 months after the pandemic began, have greatly differentiated initial predictions and estimates, especially regarding vaccination.
The 65% that was initially set as the target of vaccination coverage is proving to be insufficient to bring the condition under control. Moreover, it has now been confirmed that both transmissibility and symptomatology occur at younger ages. In fact, the weight falls on the younger ones. Because, to a large extent, it seems that the vulnerable groups have been shielded (immunosuppressed, elderly people, people with chronic diseases, etc.).
Where are we in Cyprus? - The opinion of the Attorney General is the key
Compulsory vaccination is in itself - even as a simple topic of discussion - an issue with huge implications and dozens of aspects. It is natural, though, for those responsible to try to find more radical solutions in order to stem the tide of a pandemic that continues to plague the planet for almost two years with regular intervals of aggressive mutations, outbreaks and new waves.
Due to the impact that such a decision may create, the Ministry of Health has consulted the Attorney General and is awaiting an opinion on the constitutionality of such a possibility. Although the discussions are at an early stage, and in consideration of the information based on the Treaty of the European Union (TEU), there is still no timetable as to if, when or who. The TEU does note the validity of the decision initially for persons working in the field of Health (doctors, nurses) as well as in law enforcement.
Compulsory vaccination is gaining momentum in Europe
Extremely interesting is the model that seems to be followed in various other countries of the European Union. A more recent example is Austria, which announced just today (Monday 6/12) that it is making vaccinations mandatory for all citizens over the age of 14, starting in February 2022. In fact, any cancellation of a vaccination appointment or disobedience may result in a fine of 3,600 euros per installment.
Germany is on the same wavelength as Merkel and Soltz said after talks with the prime ministers of the states, expressing their belief that vaccination will become mandatory, possibly from February. However, reports in the German media say it will begin in March.
In neighboring Greece, the age limit of 60 has been established - at least in the first phase - and any disobedience may result in a fine. It is worth noting that the issue of compulsory vaccination seems to be on the rise as it will be on the table at the EU Summit (16-17/12) as a priority issue on the agenda that will need discussion.