More than 5,000 anti-vaccination protesters, some of them waving Greek flags and wooden crosses, gathered in Athens on Wednesday to protest Greece’s coronavirus vaccination program.
shout “Take your shot and get out of here!” And calling on Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to step down, protesters gathered in front of parliament under heavy police presence.
Wednesday’s protest was the biggest demonstration of opposition to vaccination. A recent pulse poll for Sky TV revealed that a majority of Greeks said they would get the vaccine and were in favor of compulsory vaccination for some parts of the population.
About 41% of Greeks are fully vaccinated. On Monday, the government ordered compulsory vaccination for health care workers and nursing home workers, following a sharp rise in new Covid-19 infections in the middle of the tourist season.
“Everyone has the right to choose. We are choosing what the government does not choose for us,” said Fadon Vovolis, a cardiologist who has challenged the scientific research surrounding face masks and vaccines and the “Free Again” movement. has led. who staged a protest. Vovolis said he started the group in response to “tough measures” by the government to contain the virus.
Protests are fairly common in Greece and issues have cropped up in recent months, from new labor laws to the latest Israeli military operation in Gaza.
In a country of 11 million people, more than 444,700 people have been infected and 12,782 have died since the start of the pandemic. The authorities on Wednesday registered around 3,000 new ones online.
(Reporting by Vasilis Triandafilo and Alkis Constantinidis Writing by Carolina Tagaris; Editing by Aurora Ellis)