December 5, 2022

Insight – EL49 News

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Around 300,000 Greeks over the age of 60 will be forced to pay a fine of 100 euros per month for not getting vaccinated.

2 min read

Two people walk with masks on in a street in Athens

Around 300,000 Greeks over the age of 60 will be forced to pay a fine of 50 euros for not getting vaccinated, as the deadline that the government of conservative Kyriakos Mitsotakis had given in November for this age group to be inoculated against the coronavirus expired on Monday.

The fine will only be 50 euros for January, as the measure came into force in the middle of the month, but from February onwards, those over 60 who still have not had the injection will pay a fine of 100 euros for each month that passes without doing so.

Mitsotakis had announced this measure on 30 November, amid an escalation of infections and an increase in hospital pressure. The Greek prime minister then justified the imposition of compulsory vaccination for the over-60s by the fact that most of those who need hospital treatment are unvaccinated people in this age group. According to experts, the vaccination of one 70-year-old is equivalent to 34 vaccinations of younger people as far as the public health system is concerned.

On 30 November, when the measure was announced, 17 per cent of Greeks over 60 remained unvaccinated, around 520,000 people. Currently, 10 per cent, some 300,000 Greeks in this age group remain unvaccinated, which means that since the government announced the compulsory vaccination around 220,000 over-60s have been vaccinated, just under half of those required.

The fines will be imposed by the independent public revenue authority (AADE) and the money collected will be put into a special account to support public health.

Immunity of the entire population

On 1 February, another measure will come into force, according to which the Greek covid passport will expire after seven months – and not after nine months as is the case with the European covid passport – if a booster vaccination has not been carried out. This rule, which until now only applied to those over 60 years of age, is intended to boost immunity for the entire population, as it will apply to everyone over 18 years of age.

Currently, around 95% of covid cases in Greece are of the omicron variant and experts expect the infection situation to improve significantly by the end of the month.

The vaccination rate among Greeks remains below the European average, with 67% of the population having the full vaccination regimen and 40% the booster shot.

This is a translation of the following article:

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