Greece will open COVID-19 vaccinations to youngsters aged 12-15 in August, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias told local television on Monday.

Vaccination for this group has been approved and will be optional, he said.

Some 30,000 appointments have already been made by teenagers aged 15 to 17, he said, as he called anew for all Greeks to receive the jab.

“They should all go and get vaccinated, even now in the summer,” said Kikilias.

Earlier this month, Greece’s parliament passed a bill introducing mandatory vaccinations of all health workers, including those working in retirement homes.

The bill requires all people working in retirement homes to be vaccinated by August 16 or be put on unpaid leave. The same applies for health workers in both public and private sector from September 1.

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In the spring, Greece made a push to get people living on its islands vaccinated, ahead of the summer tourist season, which is a vital economic lifeline there.

Although many island residents have been fully vaccinated, a large portion of tourism sector employees there remain hesitant, according to Greek authorities.

The popular tourist island of Mykonos, which was considered a vaccination model, was placed on red alert earlier in July, with several restrictions reimposed, including a 24-hour ban on music and a curfew from 1 am to 6 am, as cases jumped. The restrictions were lifted on Monday.

More than 10 million vaccine doses have been administered in Greece and around 5.5 million people, out of a total population of about 10.7 million, have been fully jabbed.