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Greece’s Bioethics Commission: “Compulsory Vaccination” only “a last resort”

Greece’s National Bioethics Committee made recommendations on the issue of compulsory vaccination at the request of the Prime Minister. In its report, the Commission proposes a “scalable initiative” approach on the part of the State and characterizes the provision for “compulsory vaccination” as the “last resort” under certain conditions and only for the personnel of public and private health units, as well as for the staff of care units for vulnerable groups.

In particular, the Commission recommends vaccination information and awareness campaigns tailored to each professional group, and advocates the adoption of incentive / discouragement measures, and see the “compulsory vaccination” only as a last resort, under certain conditions and for specific professional groups.

Regarding the measures to encourage / discourage vaccination, the Commission states: “They could be designed by the State in cooperation with the administration of health units, such as e.g. facilitation of vaccination appointments, flexibility of working hours on vaccination days, priority in the selection of days-off or mandatory use of a double mask and personal protective equipment.

According to Committee’s statement, the Prime Minister’s request was referring to the possibility of providing compulsory vaccination of doctors and nursing staff, as well as all those who staff health structures (public and private sector) or care structures of vulnerable groups (elderly, people with chronic diseases or with a disability).

The Commission proposes a “scalable initiative” approach on the part of the State, with three stages:

a) Targeted information and awareness campaigns for voluntary vaccination, adapted to each professional group (doctors, nurses, laboratories, care staff, etc.), which are based on scientific data that are constantly updated, provided that prior understanding and of general perceptions.

b) encouraging measures as state above

c) mandatory provision as a last resort, which should have a specific time horizon and be implemented only if the previous measures do not lead to a significant increase in the vaccination rate. The exact implementation of such a measure must be determined on the basis of labor or public law, on the other hand requires any consequences in the division of tasks and staffing of structures in case of non-compliance, to avoid underfunding of the latter or the workload of other employees .

The Commission notes that the above recommendation applies only to the specific occupational groups of staff in public and private health units, as well as to staff in vulnerable groups.

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  1. An interesting dilemma for the Greek government.

    Having slashed covid testing by 12% immediately upon opening for tourism, the ongoing weekly reduction of testing has now exceeded 35% since May 14th.

    The discovered case numbers tumble. (In fairness deaths & intubations are falling too).

    However, as vaccinations also start to stall, the government is suggesting / threatening that vaccinations could become compulsory for some.

    They have said this wouldn’t progress until Autumn. (That means not before the end of tourism).

    But if cases continue to fall, could this be a realistic option?

    I’m going to guess at this stage that we will start to see a noticeable rise in testing again in September (reminiscent of lockdown testing numbers), and this would be able to be explained by ministers as hunting out variants that have appeared in the country.

    Increased tests would of course lead to increased discovered cases. (Check out the UK where daily testing is currently four times Greece’s weekly testing).

    Increased discovered cases could provide evidence for the need of mandatory vaccinations for some.

    We wait and watch.

  2. We had our 2nd jab yesterday and it was, like the 1st jab, the most orderly and well organized process we have been to regarding anything in Athens. All personnel were as professional as possibly could be expected. Well done vaccination center!

    • Couldn’t agree more. Those who are vaccine reticent need to understand the maths. If I get vaccinated I have a one in a million chance of suffering an adverse reaction and perhaps even dying. If I get vaccinated I have an almost zero chance of being seriously affected by COVID or dying from it. If I don’t get vaccinated and catch COVID at my age I have a 10 % chance of dying. Even the young and healthy have something around 1 % chance of dying if they catch COVID. Those are the basic facts. That is based on almost 180 million COVID cases, nearly 4 million COVID related deaths and around 2.5 billion vaccine doses administered worldwide. Any statistician will tell you that means that the confidence in the data is extraordinarily high. Is it really that difficult to make a decision.

      • Compulsory vaccination is going to get this gov’t in trouble. They can claim all they want with the numbers but all I all they just want control and money. But this idea runs foul of some international laws.