Greece has seen a surge in vaccine take-up just one day after Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced people over 60 would be fined 100 euros monthly if they refused to get a COVID-19 shot.
On Twitter, Mitsotakis said that prior to implementing the vaccine mandate, the daily rate of new vaccination appointments for those over 60 was roughly 2,000. After the announcement, “almost 20,000 appointments have been made.”
“That is, appointments are up almost 10 times,” he wrote.
Before the new measure was set out by the government, only 60,000 of the 580,000 unvaccinated Greeks over 60 had received the vaccine in November. Greece’s vaccination ratio in this group is around 83 percent compared to Portugal’s 98 percent.
Mitsotakis said he struggled with the decision to implement the vaccine mandate, but added it was necessary to protect the more than half a million elderly Greeks who had failed to get the jab.
“It’s the price to pay for health,” he said.
Greece this month barred unvaccinated people from indoor spaces including restaurants, cinemas, museums, and gyms as daily COVID-19 cases hit record highs.
The country recorded 6,196 new COVID-19 cases and 75 deaths today.