Greece is requiring individuals aged 60 and older to either get vaccinated against COVID-19 or else face financial punishment.
The Associated Press reported that those who forego vaccination will get slapped with a 50 euro ($57) fine this month and then with a 100euro ($114) monthly fine going forward.
Health Minister Thanos Plevris noted that the payments would be collected via the tax office and utilized to assist in funding state hospitals, the outlet noted.
“The age factor is important because of its impact on the public health service,” Plevris told Open TV, according to the AP.
“Mandatory vaccination is a means of individual and collective protection,” Greek government spokesperson Giannis Oikonomou stated during a news briefing, according to CNN. “In any case, as the deadline for their vaccination has expired, the law will be applied in full.”
Not everyone in the older age bracket who remains unvaccinated will be hit with fines. According to the AP, “Oikonomou said only people with legitimate health exemptions, those who had suffered a recent infection and applicants for home vaccination appointments that were delayed would be spared the fine.”
The outlet noted that polls indicate significant public backing for the requirement.
Any attempt to impose such a mandate in the U.S. would likely be met by a powerful public outcry, as many Americans have taken issue with the various mask and vaccine mandates proposed and/or instituted by the public and private sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic.