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COVID19: Cyprus wants everyone to get virus jab

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Getting vaccinated against coronavirus will be obligatory once Cyprus gets its hands on a readymade batch of vaccines it has ordered through the EU.

Cyprus has requested 1.2 million doses of coronavirus vaccinations via the EU with nobody being exempt from the getting the jab, said Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou.

Interviewed on ANT1 TV on Monday, Ioannou argued the fact that Cyprus has placed an order for 1.2 million jabs, is an indication of the Ministry’s intention to inoculate the entire population (including Turkish Cypriots).

If Nicosia initially receives less than the 1.2 million required, some groups would be prioritised – according to vulnerability, age and so on.

Ioannou did say, however, that vaccinating two-thirds of the population would suffice to protect the island from the virus.

“Once 60-70% of the population has been vaccinated, according to statistical models, it would essentially be equivalent to having the entire population vaccinated,” said Ioannou.

Although the timeframe for obtaining the vaccines was in no way set in stone as trials are still ongoing.

“In the best-case scenario, the earliest we will have the vaccine in our hands would be towards the end of 2020 or early 2021.”

Cyprus has placed its order for some 1.2 million of the COVID-19 vaccine Oxford University is working on with pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, through the European Union.

Nicosia is part of an EU Commission collective which is in negotiations with AstraZeneca to acquire quantities of the vaccine to cover the needs of the whole bloc.

The minister is unhappy with the public letting its guard down, witnessed most notably in the recent spike in cases in Limassol.

“The protocols and measures currently in place will be around until the vaccine is available,” he said.

Asked about whether wearing a mask would become compulsory for the general population, Ioannou said it is a possibility but the science on the matter would be taken into account.

“If people abide by and follow the current measures, they will avoid any stricter measures in the future”.