Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has announced that anybody who is over the age of 60 and refuses to get a Covid jab will be fined 100 Euros (£85) a month as as the country prepares to launch a vaccine mandate.
Mitsotakis announced mandatory Covid-19 vaccination for all Greeks over the age of 60 on Tuesday, in an apparent bid to tackle the new omicron variation threat ahead of the festive season.
“Greeks over the age of 60… must book their appointment for a first jab by January 16” the premier said in a statement to the cabinet. “Their vaccination is henceforth compulsory.”
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Bloomberg reports: Those who refuse to get vaccinated will have to pay a monthly fine of 100 euros ($114) for each month they don’t get jabbed, starting on Jan. 16, according to Mitsotakis. The penalty will be imposed by the tax authorities directly to those who haven’t been inoculated and the funds collected will be given to Greek hospitals fighting the pandemic.
“It is not a punishment,” Mitsotakis said. “I would say it is a health fee.”
In Greece, only 60,000 among the 580,000 unvaccinated people over 60 years old received the vaccine in November. Greece’s vaccination ratio in this age group is around 83% compared to Portugal’s 98%, Mitsotakis said.
Those people must be the first to be protected, as they are often the ones who go to the hospital when it’s too late, further aggravating their situation and preventing the hospitalization of people with other serious diseases, the premier said.