After months of hesitation on expanding the circle of groups for which COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to announce in a keynote speech at the Thessaloniki International Fair tomorrow evening that he is prepared to expand the number of professional groups that must get the jab.

In an exclusive report by Mega television’s political correspondent, Yannis Christakos, due to the critical juncture in the development of the COVID-19 epidemic, with the highly transmissible Delta variant prevailing, the government has decided to review the prospect of  compulsory vaccination for teachers, the police force, and even for clergymen.

The rationale was that members of these groups come into regular contact with a large segment of the population.

The issue of mandatory vaccination for these and other groups has been the subject of heated public debate for weeks in the Greek media, with most analysts weighing in in favour.

Mitsotakis’ speech will come just two days after US President Joe Biden announced compulsory vaccination of all federal workers and federal contractors, as well as of workers at companies with 100 or more employees.

‘Options everywhere for compulsory vaccination’

Government spokesman Yannis Economou told SKAI television on 7 September that, “options for extending mandatory vaccination are everywhere, not just in schools.”

“Depending on the magnitude of the pandemic and the rate of vaccination, it is a choice that we always have at our disposal and that we can marshal in the battle against COVID-19. There is the choice of mandatory vaccination for everyone – even for teachers, for example, a group which has a high rate of vaccination,” Economou had underlined.

Vaccinating children

Regarding the vaccination of children Economou said that, “Right now there are no plans for the compulsory vaccination of children. If that becomes necessary, we shall do what we should for people working in critical sectors,” he said.

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