Amendment to allow Health minister to impose obligatory vaccinations

Amendment to allow Health minister to impose obligatory vaccinations

The minister of health will be able to extend obligatory vaccination to several sectors if necessary, according to a technical correction introduced by Alternate Health Minister Vassilis Kontozamanis on Thursday.

The amendment would allow the minister to specify the sectors and the kind of measures related to obligatory vaccination for Covid-19, the alternate minister said in Parliament.

The amendment on obligatory vaccination "is nationally necessary and democratic, because it serves public health without interfering in the individual rights areas," he said, and "urge the few not to harm the overwhelming majority."

Asked by main opposition SYRIZA parliamentary representative Yiannis Ragoussis to clarify the rate of vaccination in the health sector, Kontozamanis said that in the National Health System, over 85% of doctors are vaccinated and over 69% of nursing staff.

Ragoussis replied that there are thousands of unvaccinated medical staff, and asked, "If these people or a great percentage of them decide in the end not to get vaccinated and are suspended from their jobs, what will happen? Won't the National Health System collapse?"

Kontozamanis responded "there will be short-term contracts" and ruled out the possibility of transferring non-vaccinated staff to other positions because that would act as an incentive not to get vaccinated. He also said that temporary staff replacing emergency ambulance (EKAV) staff that will not be vaccinated will be extended by three months, beyond the original three.

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