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Greece said on Tuesday it would make Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory for people aged 60 and over in a move to quell a resurgent virus that is burdening a frail healthcare system.
Authorities said those who failed to comply from 16 January would face a recurring monthly fine of 100 euros.
Tuesday’s announcement marks an EU-wide first in targeting a specific age group. Other countries make vaccines mandatory for health workers and other high-risk groups of workers.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he struggled with the decision but it was necessary to protect more than half a million elderly Greeks who had failed to get the jab.
“Its the price to pay for health,” he said.
About 63% of Greece’s 11 million population is fully vaccinated. While vaccine appointments have picked up in recent weeks, health ministry data shows there are 520 000 people over the age of 60 who have failed to get a jab.
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