Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday defended a government decision to make Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory for employees at nursing homes and care facilities during his monthly meeting with President Katerina Sakellaropoulou on developments regarding the pandemic.
He said the decision was based on the recommendations of the National Bioethics Committee and cited Article 25 of the Constitution, saying that the state “has the right to demand from all citizens that they fulfill the debt of social and national solidarity.”
“I believe that this article is more relevant today than ever. This is what we demand from our fellow citizens: The debt of social and national solidarity. Tackling the pandemic is the battle of our generation. We will win it,” he said.
He also noted that on Wednesday Greece broke the barrier of 10 million vaccinations and that Operation Freedom, as the inoculation program is called, is “proceeding as planned.”
However, he insisted that due to the Delta variant of the virus, efforts must be intensified “to convince our fellow citizens, who may still be suspicious, that they should be vaccinated.”
“That is where we will focus all our efforts,” the prime minister noted.
For her part, Sakellaropoulou appealed to skeptics, saying that “the only safe solution is vaccination.” It was telling, she added, that the majority of Covid-19 patients at the hospital are unvaccinated.
Regarding compulsory vaccination, the president said that “the Constitution does not recognize anyone’s right, in the context of their own freedom, to endanger the life and health of their fellow human beings.”
Meanwhile on Friday health authorities confirmed 2,854 new cases and seven fatalities. Greece’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases is now 471,894, with 12,882 dead. There are also 130 patients on ventilators in intensive care.