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A patient receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Aristotelous Square in the center of Thessaloniki on Nov. 26. Photo: Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP via Getty Images

Greece announced Tuesday that people 60 or older will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine by Jan. 16 or pay a monthly fine of 100 euros (about $114), Reuters reports.

Driving the news: "It's the price to pay for health," said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who added the decision to impose a fine "tortured" him.

  • The money collected will go to Greek hospitals fighting the pandemic, per Bloomberg.

The big picture: The vaccine mandate is the first in the European Union targeting a specific age group and comes as vaccinations among the 60 and older population lag in Greece.

  • Approximately 520,000 people over the age of 60 have not yet received the vaccine and Greece’s vaccination ratio in this age group is around 83% compared to Portugal’s 98%, Mitsotakis said, per Bloomberg.

What he's saying: "We are focusing our efforts on protection of our fellow citizens and for this reason their vaccination will be mandatory from now on," Mitsotakis told a Cabinet meeting, according to Reuters.

  • The decision "tortured me, but I feel a heavy responsibility in standing next to those most vulnerable, even if it might fleetingly displease them."

Syriza, Greece's main opposition party, criticized the fine as excessive, Reuters reports.

  • The average monthly pension in Greece is 730 euros (about $830), per Reuters.

Go deeper: Greece to add restrictions on unvaccinated as COVID cases jump

Go deeper

Updated Dec 18, 2021 - Health

Report: CDC overcounts millions of vaccinations

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. government has overcounted the number of Americans who are at least partly vaccinated against the coronavirus, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Millions more people than initially thought are unprotected as coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths are rising across the country.

56 seconds ago - Health

CDC: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations

Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines overwhelmingly prevented hospitalizations from the Omicron variant, according to Center for Disease Control and Prevention data out Friday.

Driving the news: Pfizer and Moderna boosters were 90% effective at preventing Americans infected with the Omicron variant from ending up in the hospital, per the data.

Janet Yellen co-opts Reaganomics phrase for new Davos speech

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at a speech this week. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The U.S. needs to focus on increasing its productive potential, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will tell world leaders Friday, calling for what she terms "modern supply side economics."

Why it matters: She is co-opting a phrase traditionally used by political conservatives to describe low-tax and deregulatory policies — and framing the Biden administration's initiatives as the best path forward to achieve greater national prosperity.