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Greek authorities will require COVID-19 vaccinations for health care workers

After saying he couldn’t force health care workers to be vaccinated although he had the authority to do so, Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ government will make shots against COVID-19 mandatory for them.
That came in a bill sent to Parliament expected to be approved as the government holds a majority of seats there, the measure including a provision to put those who refuse on unpaid leave for as long as the pandemic lasts, said Kathimerini.
Medical, paramedical, nursing, administrative, and support staff in hospitals, as well as private, public and municipal care facilities for the elderly and people with disabilities will either have to be vaccinated or face the punishment.
The legislation will take effect as of August 16 for workers at nursing homes and from September 1 for healthcare staff, the Health Ministry planning to fill the jobs of those put on unpaid leave with temporary workers given three-month contracts.
Although they are on the front lines of the fight against the Coronavirus and see patients die in front of them, 10 percent of doctors and 27 percent of nurses have refused to be vaccinated, the paper said.
The move comes with the so-called Eleftheria (Freedom) vaccination scheme stalling and about half the country’s population of some 10.7 million people fully protected with two shots of most doses, apart from the single-shot US-made Johnson & Johnson.
Health officials said a benchmark of 70 percent of the population must be fully protected to work against COVID-19, especially with the contagious Delta Variant now making up half of the cases that have been going over 3,000 daily.
Mitsotakis has been reluctant to make vaccinations mandatory, even for tourism workers as the Coronavirus is spreading on islands where they are employed.
Tourists, Greeks, and visitors can visit the islands only if they are vaccinated, have a negative PCR test or proof they have recovered from the Coronavirus but widespread defiance of what’s left of measures from a lenient lockdown have seen the virus spreading on islands that were supposed to be safe oases.
Read more at thenationalherald.com
RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, Greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to Greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek tourism report
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Source: tornosnews.gr/en/

Original article: Greek authorities will require COVID-19 vaccinations for health care workers.