Greek government plans to send SMS to unvaccinated, to get jab

ment is planning to launch the service immediately after the Personal Data Protection Authority gives its approval, but it has raised questions about the safety of personal data. [Shutterstock / Mix Tape]

The government is planning to launch the service immediately after the Personal Data Protection Authority gives its approval, but it has raised questions about the safety of personal data.

“The global scientific community as a whole is in favour of vaccination against COVID-19. You can be part of the solution. Book your vaccination appointment now at emvolio.gov.gr.” This is an example of what unvaccinated citizens will receive on their mobile phones until they get sick or decide to take the vaccine.

To date, only 63.4% of the general population have received at least one dose, while 60.8% are fully vaccinated.

The announcement from the health ministry said that “personalised campaigns” are now on the table to persuade people to get the vaccine, raising questions about the safety of personal data.

About 450,000 unvaccinated citizens are expected to receive these messages, according to SKAI TV. Infections are now breaking all case records in the country. The National Health Organization (EODY) reported 5,449 infections in the last 24 hours alone.

Deaths of patients with COVID-19 climbed to 52, with a total of 15,990 fatalities since the start of the pandemic. 95.4% of them had an underlying condition and/or were aged 70 years or older. In northern Greece, the situation is getting out of control, putting hospitals on alert. According to reports in the Greek media, the return of specialist hospitals only for patients with COVID-19 is expected to be announced soon.

On 9 October, Greece gave freedom of movement to fully vaccinated citizens, lifting the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus in “red” areas where there had been a rapid increase in cases. Experts were adamant that the pandemic was not over and that basic personal protection measures against the spreading of the disease should be maintained. Still, the government was eager to get the economy moving, which for a large part is based on services.

Newly appointed Health Minister Thanos Plevris, a politician with a far-right background, has previously raised concerns about the possibility of imposing obligatory vaccinations for certain groups like teachers. He has also expressed understanding for those who hesitate to take the vaccine. Since taking office he is now considering compulsory vaccination, amongst other measures.

(Matthaios Tsimitakis | EURACTIV.gr)

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