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Greece to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for over-50’s

Greece to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for over-50’s
AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris
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Greece’s government is considering imposing a vaccine mandate on every adult over the age of 50. The move comes just days after the Italian government announced it would make vaccines mandatory for residents above the same age.

Greek newspaper Ekathimerini reported that the Greek government is expected to make a formal announcement on the matter within the next few days.

“The decision to impose age criteria has paid off, and the age limits could be further lowered if this becomes necessary,” said Deputy Interior Minister Stelios Petsas on Friday. The minister says that the policy is being actively considered.

“This will be done in the coming days,” he said.

Last November Greece mandated that every resident over the age of 60 be fully vaccinated and introduced a 100 euro fine for anyone over the age of 60 who fails to comply after a deadline of January 16.

Similar moves have been made in Italy by the government under Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who made the vaccination mandatory while tightening restrictions on those who remain unvaccinated.

The widely unpopular move is opposed by Matteo Salvini and his La Lega party, who said “La Lega is opposed to the indiscriminate vaccination obligation and proposes to use scientific and not ideological criteria: the absolute majority of ICU admissions concern people over the age of 65.”

In addition to the mandatory vaccinations for those over 50, the Italian government seeks to impose a vaccine mandate on employers in certain industries, and for them to start using a so-called “Super Green Pass” — a health passport that only fully vaccinated individuals are eligible for, Breitbart reported.

“I believe that, given the numbers of infections and increasing hospital pressure, it is reasonable to immediately extend the Super Green Pass in the workplace,” said Italy’s Undersecretary of Health Andrea Costa.

“It will be a big boost to speed up the vaccination campaign and impose severe restrictions on those who do not get vaccinated,” he said.

While many European countries continue to adopt increasingly strict restrictions to deal with the pandemic, the UK remains one of the few countries not to impose draconian measures upon its citizens. 

The Guardian recently asked the inflammatory question: “Should the U.K. make vaccination mandatory?” Britain would suffer a severe backlash as a result of any compulsory vaccination, and the move is not a part of British culture. The Guardian writes:

Most British scientists believe that increasing numbers of vaccinated people will give a major boost to efforts to limit hospitalisations from serious Covid complications. However, many question the wisdom of doing this by making vaccination mandatory. The issue is summed up by vaccine expert Peter English.

“Unvaccinated people are very much more likely to become ill and consume disproportionate healthcare resources. A single case of Covid-19 requiring admission to an ICU can block a bed that could be used for many critical operations,” he told the Observer. “However, the backlash that could occur as a result of compulsory vaccination – which is not part of our culture, unlike in Italy – might mean even fewer people coming forward for vaccination, so it is not something that I would recommend.”

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