NEWS

Government wants to vaccinate teens

Gov’t wants open schools, makes plans to expand mandatory jabs

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The government wants to expand the vaccination of children aged 12-17, without making it mandatory, just days before schools open.

It also has emergency plans to make vaccinations mandatory for the armed forces and police personnel, “frontline” civil servants and teachers, if the pandemic’s expansion starts getting out of hand.

“The options to extend mandatory [vaccinations] exist everywhere,” government spokesman Yiannis Oikonomou told Skai TV on Tuesday. That will depend on the level of new infections, emergency cases and fatalities and the progress of vaccinations, he added.

On Tuesday, the government announced that it will be authorizing pediatricians in public as well as in private practice to administer Covid-19 jabs to 12-17-year-olds.

The official decision paving the way for children to be vaccinated by their doctor rather than at a hub or hospital will be issued in the coming days, after some technical details are ironed out, the government said following a meeting of ministers and medical experts convened by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at his office.

“Because pediatricians often play the role of family doctor for many Greek families, they will be asked whether children should be vaccinated or not, so their support is crucial,” said Maria Theodoridou, the president of Greece’s National Vaccination Committee. 

Infectious diseases expert Sotiris Tsiodras, one of the leading members of the committee, said that health authorities estimate nearly 100% of all new infections in Greece to be the Delta variant of the coronavirus, making the vaccination of minors even more imperative. He noted that three of his seven children – those aged 12-17 – have been vaccinated.