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In Greece, unvaccinated elderly people now receive monthly fines

Greece has introduced a vaccination mandate for people over the age of 60, as coverage remains below the EU average, and a recent increase in infections has put pressure on hospitals

ATHENS, Greece - Greece on Monday introduced a vaccination mandate for people over the age of 60, as coverage remains below the EU average and a recent rise in infections has continued to put pressure on hospitals.

Elderly people who fail to be vaccinated risk fines, starting with a fine of 50 euros (57 USD) in January and followed by a monthly fine of 100 euros (114 USD) thereafter.

Health Minister Thanos Plevris said fines would be collected through the tax office with the money to be used to help fund state hospitals.

"The age factor is important because of its impact on public health," Plevris told Private Open TV on Sunday.

A vaccination mandate was imposed on health professionals last year. And from February 1, vaccination certificates for adults expire after seven months, unless the holder receives a booster shot.

New infections rose sharply in early January and have declined over the past week.

The mandate for over 60s was announced in late December, and according to government data, about 41.5% of the 530,000 people targeted by the measure are now fully vaccinated.

Greece has the seventh oldest population in the world, measured as a proportion of residents aged 65 and over, according to the US-based Population Reference Bureau.

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