Greek High Court rules that mandatory vaccinations for health workers can go ahead


A section of Greece’s highest administrative court, the Council of State (CoS), rejected on Monday an injunction submitted by the Panhellenic Federation of Public Hospital Employees (POEDIN) to temporarily freeze a law mandating their vaccination against COVID-19 by September 1.

Parliament voted in July legislation that requires all healthcare professionals working in hospitals and clinics to get vaccinated by Tuesday, or risk being suspended from work without pay. 

The union has requested more time and argued in its injunction that the threat of sanctions against workers violated their constitutional rights. 

Greek High Court rules that mandatory vaccinations for health workers can go ahead.

A separate request by POEDIN to annul and suspend the law is pending at the top court’s plenary.

So far, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis – who said earlier he couldn’t force healthcare workers to be inoculated and waited months before giving the order – hasn’t made shots mandatory for all.

He said he would wait until the autumn and has exempted police – who have a far higher rate of unvaccinated – as well as tourism workers, although COVID-19 has spread on islands where only vaccinated tourists or those free of the virus were allowed to go.

But the Greek government is forging ahead with its plan to suspend unvaccinated healthcare professionals as of September 1, its spokesman said on Monday, adding that those sent on unpaid leave may not get their job back once they have been inoculated against the coronavirus.

The Greek government is forging ahead with its plan to suspend unvaccinated healthcare professionals as of September 1.

“The law will be applied in full. There will also be a refund of the salary that was paid in advance at the end of August, while it is not certain that those who are suspended will return to the same positions, even if they choose to get vaccinated, given that the nature, needs and organisation of the national healthcare system will have changed,” Giannis Oikonomou said during a press briefing.

He also warned that the next few weeks will be “extremely crucial for evolution of the pandemic.”

“It is encouraging that since mid-August there has been an increasing trend in new [vaccination] appointments, but as experts point out, in order to build the wall of immunity, we need at least an additional one million vaccinated people,” he said.

Source: Ekathimerini.




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