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Greece: Mandatory tests for the unvaccinated, COVID-19 booster shots for over 60s

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Greece will make a COVID-19 booster vaccine available to vulnerable groups from Tuesday, Health Ministry experts said, hoping to curb a rise in Delta variant infections.

Authorities would start making booster jab appointments available from Tuesday to persons with compromised immune systems and individuals over the age of 60.

“It can be administered 6-8 months after the second dose,” said Maria Theodoridou, chair of the Greek National Vaccination Committee.

“For the immuno-compromised it can be given even 4 weeks after the second dose.”

This booster shot comes as Greece on Monday introduced mandatory weekly testing for all unvaccinated workers.

READ MORE: No vaccines, no dinner: Greek restaurants accepting only vaccinated customers.

Α student checks her temperature as she arrives at a junior high school in Athens on Monday. Photo: AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris.

Public and private sector employees will have to pay for weekly tests or carry a vaccination certificate to gain access to their place of work, while unvaccinated children at high schools, which reopened on Monday, are being given test kits distributed at government expense.

READ MORE: Greek health care workers strike against mandatory COVID-19 vaccines.

Similar restrictions will also apply at sports stadiums, museums and archaeological sites, as well as indoor leisure areas like cinemas and restaurants.

The country reported 1,608 new COVID-19 infections and 51 related deaths on Monday, bringing the total number of infections since the pandemic began to 616,765 and the death toll to 14,223.

Greece, with a population of 11 million people, has so far administered more than 11.8 million first shots. About 56% of the population is fully vaccinated. It hopes to increase that figure to up to 70 percent in an attempt to build wide immunity against the virus.

READ MORE: Greek and Australian Prime Ministers hold call to discuss COVID-19, vaccines and trade.

Source: Reuters.

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